Each and every day, the leaders of Engineers In Action mentor and support others. They invest in transforming not only the communities we serve, but ensuring that the people who come together to make that happen have an opportunity to grow and learn as well. It’s what makes EIA such a vibrant community.
To celebrate engineers and engineering this week, we asked our team members to tell us about the engineers who mentored and inspired them along their way. Here are a few of their passionate responses…
One of my engineering heroes is Johann Zimmermann. He’s spent his career doing engineering development work both across the globe and across the street. I was lucky enough to spend five years working with him to serve the communities who are so often left behind.
Ethan Gingerich, Bridge Program Director
I was most impacted as an engineer by one of my professors at University, Dr. Kijewski-Correa, who has worked in the field of engineering for international development all over the world. She inspired me to pursue a career in international development. I think a lot of engineers choose the profession to have an impact on people’s lives. For me personally, I am inspired and humbled to be able to use engineering to increase equitable access in under-resourced communities in Eswatini.
Brittany Margritz, Eswatini Bridge Program Manager
I’ve been fortunate to have had many mentors while pursuing my engineering degree. The first person who comes to mind is Holly Green from Turner Construction. She was my supervisor during one of my summer internships with Turner in 2014 and it was during that internship period that she taught me and demonstrated how to truly lead others through inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment. The timing was perfect because her leadership example strongly informed my leadership practice as I would go on to lead Penn State’s EIA chapter during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Steve Mezzacappa, Development Director
During my education, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Professor Eric Holt at Denver University through the Solar Decathlon competition. Professor Holt gave me the space to grow, find motivation, make mistakes, and ultimately learn from them. Through this process, I was inspired to continue pursuing engineering.
Brenton Kreiger, Bridge Program Education Manager
Before working on development projects I thought the engineer’s challenge was focused solely on the technical side of design and construction. However, on my first trip to a community on the coast of Ecuador I met Dr. Ann Perry Witmer who is leading research on contextual engineering. I learned that our job is not just to install pipes or cables, but to find ways to better understand how those pipes and cables fit into the context of the community to get a real impact and improve their livelihoods.
Wilmer Santacruz Campoverde, Project Engineer FIEA Ecuador
Raul Zelaya, was a mentor who impacted me. He explained that the first step in engineering is not the design and engineering, it is understand the social part and the context behind the engineering problem. He taught us that first we have to understand the need of the populations in order to start use the creativity in the designs.
Felipe Vasquez Villaba, Program Manager FIEA Ecuador
Luis Soria Nau. He was an engineer that loved engineering with a lot of years of experience building infrastructure. He inspired students to be good professionals and look for the excellence, and also face problems in a practical way.
Carlos Augusto Valdez Beltran, Director of Operations, FIEA Bolivia