Millions of government employees, Washington, D.C. tourists, and people across the country appreciate Christine Merdon’s work every year.
As chief operating officer at Architect of the Capitol, she’s responsible for making sure Capitol Hill is ship shape. This is no small task considering that covers 17.4 million square feet of buildings and more than 553 acres of land.
She began her career with the Navy, and since then has worked on projects that read like a bucket list: Nationals Park, O’Hare Airport, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Camp David, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for African American History, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial – and those are just a few.
We asked this monumental civil engineer to tell us what it’s like to live out the AOC mission to “serve, preserve and inspire,” and which building is her favorite.
SWIMMING WITH THE BIG FISH: How to thrive in engineering school. Whether it’s been decades since you set foot on a college campus, or you’re the freshest of Freshmen, or somewhere in the middle, we can all agree that higher education is a big deal. Getting into college is stressful. Move-in day is no picnic either. But the hard part starts the moment you walk into your first class. It’s a sea of strangers, a professor who’s ready to push you to the limit, and too many other unknowns to even contemplate… Welcome to the next chapter.
Luckily, we’ve tapped into the brain trust of those who’ve gone before you. This newsletter features a collection of tips – a guide for surviving the first year of engineering school – from students at Alabama, Carnegie Mellon, Connecticut, Florida International, UC Boulder, Miami, Purdue, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Read on for advice from these thriving engineering majors on how to get through those weed-out classes, make your mark, and have some fun along the way.
LIFE HACKS AND LAUGHS:
A conversation with Innovation Nation’s Alie Ward.
Engineering can be exhilarating, endlessly creative, and, if you’re Emmy Award winner Alie Ward, it’s pretty entertaining. As the science correspondent for CBS’s “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca,” host of the smart and hilarious “Ologies” podcast, and part of the team working on two new science shows for Netflix, she’s all about celebrating everything STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Read our conversation about what she’s learned and who she says is the funniest engineer she ever met.
EMMY AWARDS HONOR THE ENGINEERS WHO MAKE TV WORTH WATCHING
The magic of television takes a lot of engineering, and on Sunday, April 8 during the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) will honor winners at the 69th Annual Technical and Engineering Emmy Awards. “The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards has always recognized the talented and innovative leaders and companies that have made the incredible world of television possible,” said Bob Mauro, president of NATAS.
Among the honorees is Lifetime Achievement Award winner Richard Friedel, executive vice president, Technology and Broadcast Strategy for Fox. We had the opportunity to talk to Friedel and Robert P. Seidel, CBS vice president of Engineering and Advanced Technology and chairman of the NATAS Technology & Engineering Committee, about why it’s important to recognize engineers and the role of technology in entertainment and what it’s like to win an Emmy.
CELEBRATE ENGINEERS WEEK 2018
For 67 years, Engineers Week has been a time to bring engineering to life for kids, educators and parents. This year, Engineers Week is February 18-24 and its theme, Engineers: Inspiring Wonder, speaks to the critical need to introduce the next generation to the amazing possibilities of engineering. Click to read our conversation with DiscoverE Executive Director Leslie Collins and find out how you can make a difference…
CELEBRATING THE ENGINEERS WHO CHANGE OUR WORLD
Engineers solve problems, improve our lives, positively impact national security and the prosperity of our nation… and sometimes they just make cool stuff. This year, we’ve talked to some inspirational engineers who are doing everything from making cars safer, to building bridges around the world and inspiring children with awesome toys. All of them are leading the way to a better world. Here are the highlights from some of those conversations…
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
When someone has an idea or a revelation, we call it “a lightbulb moment.” The symbol is especially fitting for engineers. The lightbulb is commonly associated with American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison for his patent of the first long-lasting, commercially practical incandescent bulb in 1879. For Kelli Wells, executive director for education for the GE Foundation, lightbulb moments illuminate the path toward and eliminate the skills gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions.
FORGE YOUR OWN PATH
No two roads to leadership are the same. As a Smart Building Practice Co-Leader at Deloitte, Joann Michalik is like many engineers – she solves problems. She’s also a risk taker, a relationship builder and someone knows the value of having fun. Click the button below to read more about how Joann makes sure she’s staying on the forefront and delivering for her clients and her team.
CRASH TEST SMARTIES
Steven Gacin and Bob Salemme didn’t start out as car enthusiasts, but it’s a good thing these two Honda R&D Americas engineers grew to love automobiles, because their job is keeping people safe on the road every day. Gacin is an interior design engineer and Salemme is a vehicle safety engineer specializing in front crashworthiness.
Read on for the inside scoop on how they engineer safety with an eye on design and performance.
READINESS AND RESILIENCY: ENGINEERING THAT SAVES LIVES
Dr. Menzer Pehlivan was 13 years old when she survived a devastating earthquake in Turkey. Today, she’s a geotechnical engineer working to make structures safer to reduce risk and increase resiliency from natural disasters. Through her appearance in the IMAX film “Dream Big,” she’s also working to show children the fun of engineering and its potential to change people’s lives for better.