Mary Ellen Maurer, PE, is a Quality Control Engineer in KCA’s Bridge Inspection Department in Tampa, FL. She has been with KCA for more than 3 years and has 36 years of experience overall.
Why did you decide to become an engineer?
When I was about 8 years old, my father said to me that I would be an engineer when I grew up. Well I first started looking at architecture. My design teacher said, I hear you’re a whiz in math and physics. He asked if I ever thought about engineering. So I looked in civil and decided it was right for me. Of course, my father was right too.
What is the biggest change (during your career) that has impacted the industry?
For me, I would say we got rid of the saying, “We’ve always done it that way.” By thinking outside the box, there has been an introduction of new technology and design.
- Computers at every work station and advances in the computer systems including, but not limited to survey equipment
- Introduction of new design ideas (design-build, low-impact design, RRR projects)
- Earlier introduction to students through STEM and other advanced learning
How do you envision the future of engineering?
I see the future looking more toward the environment and designs that protect it.
What is the most unique project you have worked on?
I would saying being the Senior Project Engineer on the Ringling Bridge Replacement project. The project was design-build, incentive disincentive, A+B bid project, lump sum, and precast post-tensioned segmental bridge. At the time it was the widest single box precast post-tensioned bridge in the western hemisphere. France beat us out because the design build team reduced the width of the median barrier wall by 0.95 ft. Otherwise it would have tied France for the widest. This was the first design-build project for the District.