Baltimore Engineering Firms Participate in “Day with an Engineer”

As part of National Engineer’s Week, employees from 12 local engineering firms and public agencies participated in “Day with an Engineer,” a high school shadowing program organized by the Baltimore Post of the Society of American Military Engineers. These offices hosted 68 high school juniors and seniors from 19 high schools in the Baltimore area on Feb. 25. These students were interested in studying engineering in college but did not know which area of engineering on which to focus. The day was structured so that they had maximum exposure to as many engineering disciplines as possible.

Education OutreachThe U.S. Naval Academy and NAVFAC teamed up to offer seven students from Woodlawn High School a unique program. The students were given an inside look into the academic offerings of the Academy by LT Jon Angle and his colleagues in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. After this, the students were given instruction and a tour of the new health clinic project that is currently under construction from one of PWD Annapolis’ project managers, Tiffany Monaco, PE. This program allowed for the students to observe both the academic and practitioner’s perspective on the field of engineering – all in the beautiful setting of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Whitney, Bailey, Cox & Magnani (WBCM) in Towson hosted five students from Towson, Pikesville, Dulaney and Loch Raven High Schools. The students were presented with the activities of WBCM’s various civil, structural, environmental, marine, industrial and transportation practice groups followed by a construction tour of the Intercollegiate Tennis Facility project that WBCM designed for Loyola University – Maryland.

At Parsons, two students observed the engineering work environment during Day with an Engineer by working a sample problem with Parsons Government Services (PGS) and Parsons Transportation Group (PTG) engineers that included both environmental and road & bridge design elements. The visiting students were also given the opportunity to spend time with their senior engineers to discuss basic skill sets for engineers and their work experience on engineering tasks performed on a wide variety of projects for government and private industrial clients.

Gannett Fleming hosted four students from Loch Raven and Pikesville High Schools, all of whom expect to study engineering in college. They spent the morning at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), first visiting the contractor’s trailer to view plans and then touring the active construction site of the new denitrification facilities. Next up was a plant tour with an operator with visits to the existing chlorination building and effluent channels, mechanical screen building, and sludge thickening facilities. Back at the office, they had a pizza lunch with approximately 20 engineers from multiple disciplines, which allowed the students to ask informal questions. In the afternoon the students met with engineers from 8 different disciplines, including electrical, mechanical, structural, civil, water/wastewater, geo-environmental, highway, and rail, for “one-on-one” sessions. The students were engaged and had a great time learning about the day to day activities of engineers.

All groups were treated to lunch courtesy of the hosting firms and provided with commemorative t-shirts courtesy of SAME. Afterward, the students said that they had a good time and learned a great deal about what real engineers do on a daily basis. Many of the students indicated that the program strengthened their desire to do what it takes to become engineers. Chad Fisher of Pikesville High said, “The lunch was great and the site visit was really cool. I would recommend this experience to anyone interested in engineering”. Thanks to all the firms who participated in this year’s event: EA Engineering, Science and Technology, EBA, EBL Engineers, Gannett Fleming, JMT, NAVFAC, Parsons, Whiting-Turner, TAI, RMF, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Baltimore District, and WBCM.