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Meghan L.

I am… compassionate, energetic, and open-minded.

I chose Civil Engineering because… I wanted to put my science and math skills to work and to incorporate my passion for nature and the environment.

I like my job because… I am challenged every day and surrounded by inspiring people. There are also many different projects and opportunities to choose from.

My typical day at work involves… hydraulic modeling, providing assistance to one of FEMA’s Regional Support Centers, or reviewing stormwater plans and reports to help municipalities meet water quality regulations.

I want others to know… I don't always know how to fix things (as many people assume), but I can use my problem-solving skills to try and I am not afraid to ask for help!

This is my story… I have always been very curious, which I believe is a common trait among engineers who want to know how things work. As a child, I loved weekend family trips to the museums in DC, which provided a wealth of knowledge and culture; I continue to frequent the museums to this day. Since age 12, I have had many different jobs: babysitting; working registers at the ma-and-pop hardware store my father managed, at the feed store my grandfather owned, and at an independent movie store where my affinity for cult films was augmented; and interning for the government and for a water utility. There were aspects of each job experience I liked and I knew I wanted a career in something that exercised my brain every day. When applying to colleges, I only knew that I particularly liked math and science, and therefore applied for engineering and architecture. My game-time decision was to go to Virginia Tech for engineering and I recall at orientation, we were told that the ratio of male to female engineers was about 3:1 in my freshman class. I studied and graduated from Biological Systems Engineering because I liked the diversity of the curriculum with science and engineering classes. Additionally, I graduated with minors in Green Engineering and Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering to incorporate my environmental interests and to develop my communication and research skills. In July 2012, I studied abroad in Brazil and was completely enamored by the country and culture. As a result of that experience, I have made many Brazilian friends here and have been taking Portuguese classes to further immerse myself. Among other things I do outside of work include mentoring; volunteering at food kitchens and stream cleanups; U.S. Masters Swimming; hiking; biking; running; yoga; traveling; cooking; going to concerts (especially punk rock), plays, festivals, and comedy shows; and chowing down at my father’s Sunday brunches.

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