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Ten Best Mathematics or Engineering Movies

If you haven’t seen the movie Hidden Figures yet, we highly recommend it. The movie follows three female African American mathematicians who worked at NASA as computers, before there were machines to do that work. It’s a great movie and the audience at my viewing laughed, cried, and cheered.
 
If you’re interested in other movies that feature a main character as a mathematician or engineer, here are my favorites. By the way, the first eight movies are based on real people, showing that mathematicians and engineers lead interesting and important lives!
 

1. Hidden Figures, 2017
 
This is an inspirational movie that tells the story of three African American women mathematicians who worked for NASA in the early 1960s. The movie is very entertaining and can appeal to the young and old. The movie highlights the “Hidden Figures” that made space flight possible and shows how important math was for getting our astronauts into space, and more importantly, safely back home. The movie is based on the book by Margot Shetterly called “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race”.
 

2. Apollo 13, 1995
 
This is another movie about NASA. What was supposed to be the third landing on the moon, instead turned into a potential catastrophe. For some, the heroes in the movie are the astronauts.  For me, the heroes of the movie are the engineers who quickly figured out how to solve an unprecedented problem. “Houston we have a problem” is a famous quote from Apollo 13 and it took a large team of dedicated people to fix the problem.   The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and is based on the book “Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13” by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.

 

3. The Theory of Everything, 2014
 
Stephan Hawking is considered one of the most brilliant minds of our time. He is a theoretical physicist, which is someone who uses mathematical models and abstractions to explain natural phenomena. This movie follows Hawking’s life from college to decades later when he was a Professor of Mathematics meeting the Queen of England. Hawking’s book “A Brief History of Time” was on the New York Times best seller list for over 2 years!   The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and is based on a book by Jane Wilde Hawking called “Travelling to Infinity”.

 

4. The Imitation Game, 2014
 
This movie is about the team that decrypted German intelligence codes during World War II. If you know the history of computers, you may be familiar with the name of the main character – Alan Turing. While code was previously decrypted by hand, Turing created a decryption machine. Some consider Turing the creator of modern computing. The movie is based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges.

 

5. Stand and Deliver, 1988
 
Stand and Deliver is based on the true story of a high school math teacher, Jaime Escalante.   Escalante’s school served mostly poor, Latino students who were struggling at school and home. Escalante went against common practice and set a goal for his class to take the Advanced Placement Calculus test by their senior year. Escalante was able to use math to help his students tap into their true potential. A book called “Escalante: The Best Teacher in America” by Jay Mathews was published the same year as the movie’s release.
 
6. A Beautiful Mind, 2001
 
This movie’s main character, John Nash, was a mathematician who won a Nobel Prize in Economics for his Game Theory. However, the movie is about his struggle with mental health.The movie won an Academy Award for Best Picture and is based on the best selling book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar.

 

7. 21, 2008
 
This movie shows one of the ways brilliant minds can use their math skills. It is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team, which involved college students using their extraordinary math skills to win big at casinos.  The movie is based on the book “Bringing Down the House” by Ben Mezrich. However, there is some controversy over how accurate the book and movie are to real life. But the premise of a MIT Blackjack Team is accurate and the main character is based on a real person who graduated from MIT with a mechanical engineering degree.

 

8. October Sky, 1999
 
This is the true story of Homer Hickam, who is from a small coal mining town in West Virginia. As a child, Hickam was inspired by Sputnik to become a NASA engineer. He also realized education was a way he could leave his hometown for more opportunities.  Although not covered in the movie, Hickam received a degree in Industrial Engineering and after a stint in the Army during Vietnam, he worked as an aerospace engineer at NASA. He also became a successful author, including his best selling biography, “Rocket Boys”, which is the basis of the movie, and several novels.

 

9. Good Will Hunting, 1997
 
This is a fictional story about a brilliant, self-taught janitor named Will Hunting, and a math professor.  The math professor recognizes Hunting’s brilliance and helps him find a better future. The movie was written by, and stars, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck before anyone had heard of them. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

 

10. The Abyss, 1989
 
This fictional story is about recovering an American submarine that sank in the Caribbean. The American SEAL team works with an oil platform crew to recover the submarine before the Russians get to it. One of the stars of the movie is the designer of the platform who joins the rescue team. Although they don’t specifically refer to her as a civil engineer, since she designed the platform she most likely was a civil engineer. Unlike the other movies on this list, math does not play a large role in this movie. However, we love the idea of a civil engineer designer donning dive gear to recover warhead missiles to stop a catastrophe!

 
If you have any other suggestions for best movies in which mathematicians or engineers play a major role, please send them to lynn@ilooklikeacivilengineer.com.
 
If you are interested in buying any of these movies or books, here is a link to our store on Amazon (link). Note that if you make a purchase through this link, I Look Like A Civil Engineer, LLC will get a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thanks for your support in increasing interest and diversity in civil engineering.

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Reflections from our First Full Year and Goals for 2017

Here are our musings on the ups and downs of I Look Like a Civil Engineer’s first full year, lessons from our journey, and hopes for 2017. 
 
As we look back over the year what strikes us most is remembering the uncertainty there was in everything we did and realizing the boundless optimism and energy we had. We didn’t know how any of the things we did would turn out, starting with our first event of the year, our photo booth at Discover Engineering Family Day (DEFD). As you may remember, this turned out to be one of the high points of our year as we had a long line of kids all day and showed about 500 excited kids that they look like a civil engineer. But the morning of DEFD when we were busy setting up our booth some of our volunteers looked around at the other amazing booths and activities and wondered if anyone would come to ours. Well, civil engineers and others have continued to contact us throughout the year to say how much they liked the booth and that want to help out this year. If you’re in DC on February 18th, come see us because we’ll be back again this year. (You can also see photos from our booth last year here–http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/wall/)
 
Around the same time we also launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funding for the app we’re making to showcase the diverse work and lives of civil engineers all around us. The campaign was both a low and a high point as even though we did all the research about how to run a campaign (and spent countless hours putting together our campaign), we still made the number 1 mistake of not knowing who was on board with our mission before we started. We didn’t meet our fundraising goal, which was disappointing, but we raised $10,000, and this was enough to get started on our app. Plus we were energized by all the support and feedback we received from our friends and colleagues.
 
The best thing we did this year by far was connect with people and organizations and companies who share our mission to increase awareness of civil engineering and promote diversity in the field. When we got shortlisted for a National Science Foundation grant we started working on building a broad coalition of educators, companies, organizations, and others to support the development of the app. We made a list of all the people we wanted to work with and just started calling and emailing everyone. We didn’t know if anyone would be interested in what we were doing, and were surprised and buoyed by the positive response we got. (We’d also never written an NSF grant proposal before so we each read the lengthy instructions and manual about a 100 times, and we were also lucky enough to have extremely generous friends and collaborators with PhD credentials and grant-writing experience to help us). Our hopes were high and after 2-months of waiting it was disappointing to find out we did not win the grant. However, we realized that overall the experience advanced our mission forward. All of our key collaborators remain committed to supporting us and the creation of the app, and we were ultimately encouraged by the NSF reviewers who had overwhelmingly positive things to say about our app.
 
We also held Mother’s and Father’s day contests and took a shot at social media (which by the way, when you do 1 tweet a day on a topic you’re interested in, you will learn a lot in a year along the way!), and more. Our judges for the contests included the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 President Norma Jean Mattei, Society of Women Engineer’s (SWE) 2016 President Colleen Layman, and East Bay Municipal District’s (EB MUD) Manager of Operations Eileen White, and Professor David H Marks of MIT. You can see the amazing essays from the winners here– http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/mothers-day-2016-essays/. If you haven’t already, you can also join our nearly 1,000 followers on Twitter and connect with us here– https://twitter.com/ilooklikeaCE.
 
In the last few months of the year we ran full speed on creating our map-based app to showcase the diverse projects and people in civil engineering. This has also been a period of both lows and highs. We generated excitement and a cohert of people and organizations across sectors and fields and disciplines who wanted to see and use our app. Then came the hard part of grinding away and actually creating what we’d been talking about. It was exciting and engaging to get everyone on-board with what we’re doing and then we had to step back and actually create it, and start working through all the little details about how it would actually work. It hasn’t been easy, and after what feels like a century we finally have a prototype and are in the final stages of development for the Alpha version of the app. (There’s so much more we could say about this phase since we basically made the leap from civil engineers to software development engineers. If you’re interested in learning more, stay tuned.)
 
One more thing we’ll share about the app development phase now though is that the best part of the whole process has been reaching out to and connecting with the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction community. We are now working one-on-one with over 40 civil engineering and other related AEC companies and organizations, both large and small, to upload their projects into the app. We also started receiving the greatest gift we could have just in time for the holiday season, which is projects to upload into our app. To-date we have already received over 50 projects!
 
This leads us to our number one goal for 2017 which is to share all of these great projects going on in the community with all of you. We also can’t wait to show you the app we’ve been talking about creating for the last year, so that you have something you can touch and feel, react to, and see the possibilities in.
 
We know most of our work is ahead of us as we will soon turn toward making this “first draft” of the app into a tool that empowers educators and students and civil engineers to envision and create a bright future. In 2017 we hope you will join us to transform our soon-to-be Alpha App into a Beta App by using it and sharing it and helping us to see things we didn’t see so we can make it better for civil engineers, companies, organizations, municipalities, and the education community.

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2016 Winning Essays about Civil Engineering Mothers

 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer Mother’s Day Contest
 
May 31, 2016. Washington, DC – I Look Like a Civil Engineer, LLC today announced the winners of the Civil Engineering Mother’s Day essay contest for children in Grades 2 to 8 whose mother is a civil engineer. Kayra Serpenguzel (Grade 3) won the entry for Grades 2 to 4 while Madeline Lucyshyn (Grade 6) won the entry for Grades 5 to 8. Kayra wrote about her mother, Derin Ural, who helps write emergency preparedness plans and was selected to carry the Olympic torch in London. Madeline wrote about how her mother, Jessica Lucyshyn, takes care of her family while helping her community. Each received a $50 gift certificate.
 
Mother’s Day Writing Contest Winners
 
The essay contest invited children whose mother is a civil engineer to write an essay about how their mother helps them, their family, or their community. The contest is part of I Look Like A Civil Engineer’s efforts to change perceptions of civil engineers and increase understanding of what civil engineers do.
 
“Congratulations to Kayra and Madeline on such impressive essays about their mothers,” said Lynn Mayo, Co-founder of I Look Like A Civil Engineer. “Each essay we received was special and highlighted how these civil engineering moms take care of their family, while improving their communities.”
 
The Grade 5 to 8 second place winner was Reese Gibson (Grade 5). Tying for second place in the Grade 2 to 4 category were Alexander Gilmore (Grade 3), Avery Gibson (Grade 3), and Leslie Dolson (Grade 2). Second place winners received $25 gift certificates.
 
The winning essays were selected by a distinguished committee of civil and environmental engineers: Norma J. Mattei, PE, PhD, President-Elect, American Society of Civil Engineers; Colleen Layman, PE, President, Society of Women Engineers; Eileen White, PE, Manager of Operations, East Bay Municipal Utility District, and Yewande Akinola, UK Young Woman Engineer of the Year (2012), Institute of Engineering and Technology.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer is currently holding a similar contest for children in Grades 2 to 8 worldwide whose fathers are a civil engineer. Entries are due by June 20, 2016. For information about that contest, go to Father’s Day Essay Contest
For more information about I Look Like A Civil Engineer, visit www.ilooklikeacivilengineer.com

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I Look Like a Civil Engineer Father’s Day Writing Contest

Civil Engineer Dads- This Father’s Day ask for the gift of an Essay that you will cherish forever and maybe your child will win a $50 gift certificate!
 
Mothers and friends of kids with Civil Engineer fathers – Help your child show their Dad is special this Father’s Day by encouraging them to write an Essay about how their Father inspires them.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer Father’s Day Writing Contest
 
Like Mothers, Fathers often don’t get recognition for the wonderful things they do for their family. Civil Engineers also often don’t get recognized for the wonderful things they do to improve our communities. After the success of I Look Like A Civil Engineer’s Mother’s Day contest, we will now celebrate Civil Engineers who are also Fathers.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer is seeking essays from students in second through eighth grades whose Fathers are Civil Engineers. Tell us about your Dad or Step-Dad and why he inspires you. Tell us why he is a hero, in 250 words or less, and you could win a $50 gift certificate.
 
Essays are due by June 20, 2016 (the day after Father’s Day in the US). This way you can print a copy of your Essay and give it to your Dad as a Father’s Day gift that he will cherish forever! Kids worldwide are encourage to enter the contest and show how special their Dad is.
 
CONTEST RULES
 
Students in grades 2 through 8 are eligible to submit an essay. Student’s Father must hold at least a 4-year degree in a civil or related engineering program OR be a certified Engineer-in-Training (EIT), Surveyor-in-Training (SIT), or equivalent.
 
One winner will be selected in each of the following grade groupings:
o Grades 2, 3, 4 (prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
o Grades 5, 6, 7, 8 (prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
 
The entry must be 250 words or less in length and must be in English. Tell us about your Dad and why he inspires you. What does he do for you, your family, or your community that you think is special?
 
You must also provide:
o Student’s Name and Grade
o Father’s Email Address, Name, University Name and Degree (or location of EIT or SIT)
o Picture of Student and Father. You must have permission of any person in Photo
 
Email essays to Lynn@ilooklikeacivilengineer.com
 
Make sure the entry is submitted by June 20, 2016.
 
The entries will be judged based on creativity, relevance to theme, emotional appeal, and sincerity by a panel selected by I Look Like A Civil Engineer.
 
Winners will be announced in July. Select essays will be posted to www.ilooklikeacivilengineer.com and may be made available to the media for publication.
 
Additional Rules
 
You must have the permission of any person that you identify or otherwise refer to in your Essay and Photo. All Entries (essay and photo) become the property of I Look Like a Civil Engineer, and will not be acknowledged or returned.
 
By entering the Contest, entrants freely give I Look Like a Civil Engineer, and their affiliates, successors, agents, employees and assigns the right to copy and reproduce the Photograph(s) and Essay, to prepare derivative works therefrom, to distribute them, and to publicly show or display them in any manner. By entering the Context, entrants release I Look Like a Civil Engineer from all claims in connection with all of the activities identified herein.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer is dedicated to changing perceptions of Civil Engineers. Visit our website at www.ilooklikeacivilengineer.com

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I Look Like A Civil Engineer Mother’s Day Writing Contest

Mom’s often don’t get recognition for the wonderful things they do for their family. Civil Engineers also often don’t get recognized for the wonderful things they do to improve our communities. Therefore, I Look Like A Civil Engineer wants to celebrate Civil Engineers who are also Mothers.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer is seeking essays from students in second through twelfth grades whose Mothers are Civil Engineers. Tell us about your Mom or Step-Mom and why she inspires you. Tell us why she is a hero, in 250 words or less, and you could win a $50 gift certificate.
 
Essays are due by May 9, 2016 (the day after Mother’s Day). This way you can print a copy of your Essay and give it to your Mom as a Mother’s Day gift that she will cherish forever!
 
CONTEST RULES
 
Students in grades 2 through 12 are eligible to submit an essay. Student’s Mother must hold at least a 4-year degree in a civil or related engineering program OR be a certified Engineer-in-Training (EIT) or Surveyor-in-Training (SIT).
 
One winner will be selected in each of the following grade groupings:
o Grades 2, 3, 4 (prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
o Grades 5, 6, 7, 8 (prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
o Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 (prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
 
The entry must be 250 words or less in length and must be in English. Tell us about your Mom and why she inspires you. What does she do for you, your family, or your community that you think is special?
 
You must also provide:
o Student’s Name and Grade
o Mother’s Email Address, Name, University Name and Degree (or State where EIT or SIT)
o Picture of Student and Mother. You must have permission of any person in Photo
 
Email essays to Lynn@ilooklikeacivilengineer.com
 
Make sure the entry is submitted by May 9, 2016.
 
The entries will be judged based on creativity, relevance to theme, emotional appeal, and sincerity by a panel selected by I Look Like A Civil Engineer.
 
Winners will be announced in May. Select essays will be posted to www.ilooklikeacivilengineer.com and may be made available to the media for publication.
 
Additional Rules
 
You must have the permission of any person that you identify or otherwise refer to in your Essay and Photo. All Entries (essay and photo) become the property of I Look Like a Civil Engineer, and will not be acknowledged or returned.
 
By entering the Contest, entrants freely give I Look Like a Civil Engineer, and their affiliates, successors, agents, employees and assigns the right to copy and reproduce the Photograph(s) and Essay, to prepare derivative works therefrom, to distribute them, and to publicly show or display them in any manner. By entering the Context, entrants release I Look Like a Civil Engineer from all claims in connection with all of the activities identified herein.
 
I Look Like A Civil Engineer is dedicated to changing perceptions of Civil Engineers. Visit our website at www.ilooklikeacivilengineer.com

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Stereotypes Put Engineers in a Box and Hurt the Industry as a Whole

In college none of my roommates or friends were engineers, and most of my extra time went to being involved in a sorority and the various extracurricular social actives that went along with that. Whenever I told someone that my major was civil engineering it was always the same reaction. What? You? You don’t look like an engineer. They meant it as a compliment. As in, you are too social and outgoing to be an engineer.

 

At the time I took it as a compliment, but now see it differently. We need our so-called introverted, geeky engineers (I’m proud of my introverted, “geeky” sides!), and we also need our extroverted and not-so-geeky engineers. Many of us engineers embody different ends of these spectrums in different ways. In my experience, having varied perspectives matters and can mean the difference between an ok solution and a great solution, or an ok team and a great team.

 

The “engineers-are-geeks” stereotype puts engineers in a box and hurts the industry as a whole. In this Ted Talk (http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/resource/are-engineers-human) Patricia Galloway, a civil engineer and a champion for girls in engineering, discusses a research study she was involved in that asked 3,000 young girls why they were not interested in pursuing engineering. According to Ms. Galloway their number 1 response was “oh my gosh do I look like a geek?”, and their number 2 response was “I want a job that helps people”. The answers both imply that engineers are disconnected from people.

 

In reality civil engineers are responsible for managing large and complex projects, they help build teams and companies, and they frequently are responsible for presenting projects and ideas to the public that we serve. Many of the most prominent roles in civil engineering require skills typically associated more with business and social science degrees than with engineering.

 

The civil engineers I’ve gotten the chance to know in 11 years in the industry live rich and full lives, have a myriad of different perspectives, and a wide variety of passions and lifestyles. You can read about civil engineers on the I Look Like a Civil Engineer Stories page (http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/stories/) and see for yourself. Or just take a look at the bios of some of our Twitter followers who are civil engineers (http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/proof-civil-engineers-are-creative-twitter-bios).

 

Civil engineering is challenging and allows for continued growth and endless possible career paths. We make a good and stable living, get the added satisfaction of seeing the tangible results of our work, and get to directly impact people’s lives and improve our society.

 

We may embody some of the stereotypes as a whole, or else the stereotype might not exist. But how much does the stereotype enforce the trend? How much do the stereotypes around engineering keep us from attracting the social diversity that both industry and the public could benefit from?

 

We need to start thinking of civil engineers as being the diverse group that they already are if we want to attract more diversity into the field. Civil engineers can do a lot to change the misperceptions about them by sharing their stories.

 

If you’re currently a civil engineer, or if your career in civil engineering was a starting point for something else, share your story at http://ilooklikeacivilengineer.com/stories.

 

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Proof Civil Engineers Are Creative – Twitter Bios!

If you want proof civil engineers, and those interested in civil engineering, are diverse and creative, just read the twitter bios for some of our followers. Join us on Twitter at @ilooklikeaCE
 
Proud owner of a library card since the age of four and Engineering Inclusion leader with a supernatural gift that inspires me everyday! @Constanceknows
 
Purple-blooded KSU Wildcat in Texas as a Professional Engineer. 100% Civil, 70% of the time @CFlanigan_PE
 
Loves water and books. Will swim, bike, or run for chocolate. @VoteWater
 
A Professional Engineer… Opinions are mine: So think about it and get your own! @SGWEngineers
 
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. ~Einstein #Civil_Engineer @mbshirish
 
Mother, daughter, sister, wife, civil engineer, dancer, love Haiti, books, romcom, ballet, tango, Zumba, jazz, Haitian & Latin music, tennis, golf, and cooking @Lyrisanne
 
Father of 3 boys, husband, USU Aggie civil engineer, pianist, retired JuCo basketballer, Mormon. Life is good. @bartonpe
 
I’m civil engineer the road to success is always under construction get it right…CIVIL ENGINEERS @AjayEngineer_19
 
structural engineer & clothes hoarder … @bexgill
 
News editor for New Civil Engineer. Lover of sarcasm, sugar and sparkly things. @NadineBuddoo
 
Senior/future grad student in civil engineering at Virginia Tech enthusiastic about water and social justice. Erstwhile poet and eternal theatre fan. @Angelneering
 
Proud civil engineer and a Truthful friend @satyajith4reddy
 
sixteen • future civil engineer @_kennniiiaaaaa
 

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Social Issues: African Black Child Drinking Fresh Water From Tap

World Water Day and I Look Like A Civil Engineer

World Water Day is March 22. It’s an internationally observed day that focuses attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day (http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday) is also an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. According to the UN, 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water.
 
The goals of World Water Day align well with a new organization called I Look Like A Civil Engineer. I Look Like A Civil Engineer is an organization dedicated to increasing the interest in, and diversity of, the civil engineering profession. We humbly hope that in some small way our work on I Look Like A Civil Engineer will bring us closer to improving all people’s access to safe water.
 
Through I Look Like A Civil Engineer, we hope to attract more of the world’s brightest students to the Civil Engineering profession. In addition, we hope to provide support to those currently in the civil engineering to field. This is one way to ultimately help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.
 
Civil engineers design infrastructure and many of the world’s poor lack access to proper infrastructure. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/water-and-sanitation), there are nearly 800 million people without dependable access to clean water and about 2.5 billion people who lack access to modern sanitation, which puts them at risk for disease. Organizations such as the United Nations, and governments worldwide, recognize that in order to bring people out of poverty, all people need access to clean water, proper sanitation, and resilient infrastructure. Civil engineers play an important role in planning, designing, and constructing these basic needs.
 
The work of an organization called Engineers Without Borders (http://www.ewb-usa.org/) is just one example of how Civil Engineers are currently helping bring safe water to improvised communities. Similar to Doctor’s Without Borders, its goal is to help communities meet basic human needs. Engineers Without Borders was founded by Dr. Bernard Armadei, an innovative man who earned a PhD in Civil Engineering. About 20 years later he worked with a local community in Belize to install a clean water system powered by a local waterfall so that little children did not have to spend all day carrying water from a nearby river. The project was low-tech and cost a total of $14,000. The project didn’t make national news, but its success was the beginning of Engineers Without Borders.
 
According to their website “Engineers Without Borders USA builds a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.” The organization has identified six project types to holistically address communities’ needs, including water supply, civil works, sanitation, agriculture, energy, and structures. Anyone can join Engineers Without Borders, but civil engineers are especially qualified to assist in these areas, since these project types are what civil engineers study and design.
 
Engineers Without Borders is just one example of how civil engineers will help improve the world’s freshwater needs. Civil engineers will also help solve some of our local problems, such as how to keep our streams and lakes safe. It’s important that we attract, and retain, the best and brightest in civil engineering.
 
We hope that smart, innovative, motivated students visit iLookLikeACivilEngineer.com and realize that they belong in the civil engineering community. We also hope that our current best and brightest civil engineers find the inspiration to stay in the civil engineering field.
 
What Dr. Armadei accomplished makes us excited to think about what innovative solutions students now entering civil engineering will develop. Their work will move us closer to solving the world’s most pressing problems. If just one of these students or young engineers was inspired by I Look Like An Engineer, then we have succeeded with our mission.

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AECOM Weekly News Digest

March 10, 2016

Civil Engineers support Discover Engineering Family Day

 

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I Look Like A Civil Engineer hosted a photo booth where kids had their pictures taken in front of civil engineering projects to see what they’d look like as an engineer.

 

Last summer, I Look Like A Civil Engineer.com was co-founded by Lynn Mayo, vice president, Water Resources Technical Practice in Germantown, MD, and her associate, Aelisa Carr. They were inspired by the I Look Like An Engineer Twitter campaign where engineers posted pictures to challenge race and gender stereotypes.

 

After doing their research, the two concluded that civil engineering needed to address diversity in terms of race and gender, as well as increase all teenagers’ interest in engineering as a career. “We wanted to provide support for all civil engineers,” Lynn said, “including increasing awareness of conscious and unconscious biases. We also wanted to raise awareness of what civil engineers do to keep our built and natural environment functioning, and to promote diversity and encourage young people to consider careers in civil engineering.”

 

Last month, I Look Like A Civil Engineer participated in the “Discover Engineering Family Day” at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The event coincided with Lynn’s effort to increase understanding about engineering and make kids feel that they could one day be an engineer.

 

As part of Engineers Week, “Discover Engineering Family Day” was designed to introduce 4-to-12-year olds to the wonders of engineering. “Part of our everyday mission is to inspire young people to consider civil engineering,” Lynn said. “We believe once kids realize how they benefit from engineering every day, they will be more interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We also want to make sure every kid knows that they could be a civil engineer, which is why we thought hosting a photo booth showing kids in front of a civil engineering project would be a perfect opportunity to show kids that they look like an engineer.”

 

For more information, check out www.ILookLikeACivilEngineer.com.

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