Kenneth S. Jones, P.E. | PSPE Nominating Committee
“I think it is important to make sure that we continue to encourage STEM activities in the upcoming generation so that they will be able to lead us in the future. I am active in the local STEM community. I enjoy volunteering at The STEM Summit at Camp Hill High School, which inspires students to pursue STEM-focused academics and helps prepare them for STEM careers in the future.”
Ken Jones Member Spotlight | Ken earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. He is a Senior Project Manager at Navarro & Wright Engineers, Inc.
Why Ken became an engineer | My engineering studies were interesting to learn how to predict and understand what causes and related actions to occur.
My favorite part of my job | "I like being creative with solutions that can save my clients money for projects." Ken’s expertise includes Bridge Safety Inspection, Bridge Design, and Construction Inspection and Management.
The greatest challenge of my career | “My greatest challenge is to read other people’s body language,” he continued, “reading body language is fantastically complex, and there is no dictionary that you can use to translate.”
My advice for future engineers | Learn how to learn independently and process the information you are given.
The most memorable moment of my career | Receiving the Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council (CPEWC) Engineer of the Year Award.
My PSPE member journey | Ken has been a PSPE member for 22 years and is a member of PSPE’s Nominating Committee. “I was encouraged to join by my colleagues as a way to my professional connections,” Ken shared.
Ken has maintained his membership with PSPE not only for the professional networking opportunities but because of PSPE’s vision of fostering scientific awareness and promoting engineering through STEM/STEAM activities. “I think it is important to make sure that we continue to encourage STEM activities in the upcoming generation so that they will be able to lead us in the future,” Ken commented enthusiastically.
Ken is active in the local STEM community. He assisted at The STEM Summit at Camp Hill High School, which inspires students to pursue STEM-focused academics and helps prepare them for STEM careers in the future.
Fun facts about Ken | “I enjoy being with my grandsons in my free time,” Ken elaborated, “I find it fascinating how they learn.”
When asked what’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned this month, Ken shared a thought-provoking response, “One interesting thing about nature is that there is always new information to learn. The warming climate is melting the permafrost, leading to methane gas releases from the decomposing mater under the ground surface.”
- What’s the last book you read? My brother's book "Marysville Mansion and the Manhattan Connection."
- What’s the first concert you ever attended? Jimmy Buffet.
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? It doesn't matter as much as enjoying the people you share that meal with.
- How do you define success? Success is finding the enjoyment of activities with the people you love to whom you have become closely connected throughout your life.
- Who inspires you? People who do good work like the scientists who moved us toward a better understanding of how our world and universe work.
Frank Falzone, PE | PSPE Reading Chapter State Director
“By being an active member and volunteering with PSPE, I have been able to make professional contacts and personal friendships and develop professionally that I may otherwise not have. PSPE membership includes you in a professional society whose chief goal is protecting and servicing your Engineering License by offering a platform for you and your peers to communicate, collaborate, and educate.”
Frank earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. He is a Senior Project Manager at Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.
Why I became an engineer | Frank has always been interested in Math and Science. He concentrated on Civil Engineering while attending Drexel University. Civil Engineering core classes came the easiest to Frank. “The real-world applications and chance to utilize my skills in designing transportation projects were a major appeal in my path to becoming an engineer,” Frank shared.
My favorite part of my job | Frank enjoys the transportation aspect of being a Civil Engineer as it engages projects from multiple design aspects.
“From being a Project Manager on one project to roadway design engineer on another, the variety of experiences and responsibilities that I have been able to be a part of during my career is my favorite part of my job,” Frank went on to add, “Additionally, seeing a design that you are responsible for coming to life through construction is a very proud feeling - to know that you have helped improve for the public good.”
The greatest challenge of my career | Frank was tasked with starting TPD’s Lighting design service line, which could have been a daunting undertaking as he had zero experience, education, and not many training opportunities were offered on the topic of roadway lighting design.
“Despite these hurdles, I was able to educate myself and become an expert on roadway lighting design and analysis,” Frank shared.
My PSPE member journey | Frank joined PSPE in 2008 after coworkers recommended joining. Frank is currently a member of the PSPE Nominating Committee and is actively involved with PSPE’s Reading Chapter. Every year Frank looks forward to volunteering for the Berks County MATHCOUNTS competition and assisting with the Reading/Valley Forge Annual Golf outing.
“Volunteering has always been in my character, from Key Club in High School to Junior Achievement in College, and now with PSPE and other community organizations.” Frank continued, “The sense of teamwork and community - joining together for a greater purpose in volunteering is what appeals to me.”
Frank dove a little deeper into his membership journey, “By being an active member and volunteering with PSPE, I have been able to make professional contacts, and personal friendships as well as develop professionally that I may otherwise not have. PSPE membership includes you in a professional society whose chief goal is protecting and servicing your Engineering License by offering a platform for you and your peers to communicate, collaborate, and educate.”
My advice for future engineers | “Ask questions, then ask some more,” Frank offered. Frank added, “Go after what interests you to develop your skills and become an expert in that field. When overwhelmed with a project's scope, always take things one step at a time.”
Fun facts about Frank.
“My favorite way to spend free time is binge-watching TV shows with my girlfriend, Sarah,” Frank divulged. “We also enjoy chasing our French bulldog, Hamilton, around.” When the weather cooperates, you may find Frank at the golf course.
- What’s the last book you read? The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship by David Halberstam
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
- How do you define success? Identifying a challenge and overcoming it.
- Who inspires you? My Parents.
Brian Palmiter, Jr., EIT | PSPE Keystone Northeast Chapter Secretary
“My favorite part of my job is seeing my clients happy. I understand that engineers have expertise that clients rely on to see their project visions come to life, and I am glad to be a part of that process. Anytime I receive praise or a ‘thank you’ from a client, it makes my day. That is because I know I have positively impacted someone else’s life by putting my given talents to work.”
Brian earned his BS in Environmental Engineering from Wilkes University. He is currently a Project Manager at Borton-Lawson Engineering.
Why I decided to enter the engineering field | Before deciding to attend Wilkes University and major in Environmental Engineering, Brian had a meeting with Dr. Marleen Troy to discuss the University's Environmental Science and Engineering programs. Dr. Troy is PSPE’s President-Elect (2021-2022) and a professor of Environmental Engineering, Earth Science, and Geology at Wilkes University.
He recounted his impactful conversation with Dr. Troy, “She suggested that as long as I could handle the math curriculum, my job outlook in engineering would be much more significant. I took the plunge, and from that point forward, engineering found me, and I've never looked back.”
What I love about being an engineer | Brian finds engineering challenging yet rewarding as each day involves a new problem to be solved or a solution that must be found. “I never get bored being an engineer because there is always another project that must be worked on.” Brian continued, “I feel lucky to be an engineer and I am passionate about this field.”
My favorite part of my job | One of Brian’s favorite aspects of his job is seeing his clients happy. He understands that engineers have expertise that clients rely on to see their project visions come to life, and he is glad to be a part of that process. Brian added. “Anytime I receive praise or a 'thank you' from a client, it makes my day. That is because I know I have positively impacted someone else's life by putting my given talents to work.”
The most memorable moment of my career | Receiving the 2019 Young Engineer of the Year award from PSPE has been a memorable career moment for Brian.
“It was a culmination of the first several years of my career - the grind of learning the civil engineering field, working my way up to becoming a project manager for Borton-Lawson, and the countless hours of volunteering with the Keystone Northeast Chapter of PSPE as well as at the State level in MATHCOUNTS and a few committees,” Brian shared.
The greatest challenge of my career | Brian elaborated on how he navigated the challenge of making the transition from graduate environmental engineering student to a civil engineer without formal civil engineering schooling. “I had to learn many concepts and skills and teach myself in the first few years of the job. Luckily, I have had so many wonderful mentors along the way who have passed on their wisdom and knowledge and have tolerated listening and answering my 1,000,000 questions,” Brian acknowledged.
Why I am a member of PSPE | Brian began his PSPE member journey about ten years ago when he joined the PSPE Wilkes University Student Chapter. Brian has been an active committee member of MATHCOUNTS, Membership, and the Pennsylvania Engineering Foundation. Brian was the Pennsylvania MATHCOUNTS Committee chair from 2020-2021. He was instrumental in transitioning MATHCOUNTS from an in-person to a virtual event, which was not a small undertaking.
Brian shared why he is a member of PSPE with a smile: “I enjoy volunteering with my fellow PSPE colleagues. There are so many incredible people in PSPE. PSPE has allowed me to expand my professional network around Pennsylvania and the Nation by making connections at NSPE. More importantly, I have developed some great friendships with individuals in PSPE, especially with my fellow volunteers at MATHCOUNTS. It is honestly my favorite thing to do with PSPE, and so glad the in-person State Competition is returning in March 2022.”
Brian recommends membership to anyone who is an engineer, “PSPE is the only organization representing all engineers in all disciplines across the State.” He further adds, “It is rewarding to be a member, make connections, volunteer, and know that there is an organization that is there to defend and promote the engineering field.”
Advice for future engineers | There are so many pieces of advice he would give someone who is looking to enter the field. Still, the best advice he gives is to listen to your mentors and colleagues who have already been through the rigorous years of challenges in being an engineer. He substantiates his advice with this golden nugget of truth, “You can only learn so much from school. The wisdom of a grizzled engineer is invaluable.”
Fun facts about Brian.
- How do you spend your free time? Wedding planning. I am getting married in July!
- What’s the last book you read? The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- What’s the first concert you ever attended? Fleetwood Mac
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? All the pastas with my mom's sauce and meatballs - penne, ziti, ravioli, lasagna, gnocchi, spaghetti, cavatelli. Just give my Italian belly all of them.
- How do you define success? The mark you leave on the world and the happiness you make others feel.
- Who inspires you in life? My dad and mom. They gave their all to raise my sister and me and always put family first. They provided everything to me so I could be successful in my life and experience the happiness that they have had both individually and in their lives together.
Anthony Dougherty, PE | PSPE Valley Forge Chapter State Director
“I originally joined after getting my license for networking purposes to meet other like-minded folks interested in advancing and protecting the profession. The engineering industry has given so much to me, so I try to do my part to return the favor and pay it forward! I have developed long-standing friendships with great people through my interactions and volunteering with PSPE at the Chapter and State level.”
Tony earned his BS in Civil Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and his MS in Civil Engineering from Villanova University. He is a Vice President at Traffic Planning and Design.
Why I became an Engineer | Tony always enjoyed math and science. In high school, he took an architecture class that he loved. “Civil Engineering seemed like a good marriage of those interests and skills,” Tony said.
What I love about being an engineer | “I love being involved in projects that better the lives of people.” Tony elaborated, “I know a lot of folks like to complain about road and bridge construction, but the positive impact of transportation infrastructure on society is not debatable.”
Two other things Tony loves about being an engineer are the people and problem-solving. “I have had the opportunity to work with so many great people in our industry.” Tony continued enthusiastically, “Nothing is more satisfying than figuring out a solution to a problem; I guess that's one of the reasons I became an engineer!”
My most memorable moment of my career | Tony has had so many great memories over the past 20 years that it was hard to pick just one. Tony recounted being the design engineer of one of the first modern roundabouts in Pennsylvania, “It was recognized as a Notable Engineering Achievement by PSPE and was also awarded Road and Bridge Safety Award from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.”
Why I am a member of PSPE | Tony has been a member of PSPE for over 20 years. “I originally joined after getting my license for networking purposes to meet other like-minded folks interested in advancing and protecting the profession,” Tony shared.
“The engineering industry has given so much to me, so I try to do my part to return the favor and pay it forward!” Tony continued and shared how volunteering with PSPE has expanded his professional network, “Through my interactions at the Chapter and State level, I have definitely developed long-standing friendships with great people.”
Advice for future engineers | Advice Tony has for someone interested in working in the engineering field, “Take your FE as close to college as possible and definitely pursue your PE.”
Fun facts about Tony.
- How do you spend your free time? I enjoy skiing, cycling, and spending time with my wife Christen, Daughters Caroline and Emily, Dogs Cooper and Sammi.
- What’s the last book you read? "I Heard You Paint Houses" by Charles Brandt.
- What’s the first concert you ever attended? Cinderella (with Winger and the Bullet Boys) - I am a total Hair Metal Band fan.
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Spaghetti and Meatballs.
- How do you define success? Working hard and providing for my family. I am happy to provide a good life for my children and set them on the path for their future.
Susan Sprague, PE, F.NSPE | PSPE Past President
“I have been a PSPE member for 37 years. I joined when my supervisor suggested joining. I have attended many outstanding presentations at conferences and met many awesome engineers in other disciplines and from other states. My first memories of being a member were the great tours and meeting presentations and the general feeling of fellowship chatting at dinners.”
Susan earned her BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. She is a Senior Associate at JMT.
Why I became an engineer | Susan was introduced to the engineering profession by her father, who invited engineers he worked with to talk to her. Susan also attended a summer camp for girls interested in engineering.
What I love about being an engineer | “Civil engineering works are very tangible and visible to the average person - roads, bridges, traffic signals, sidewalks, treatment plants - and it's important to design and build them correctly and to last a long time. I like knowing how these projects are built even if it was not my project,” Susan shared.
My PSPE Involvement | Susan joined PSPE for 37 years when her supervisor suggested joining. Susan has attended many outstanding presentations at conferences and met many awesome engineers in other disciplines and from other states. “My first memories of being a member were the great tours and meeting presentations and the general feeling of fellowship chatting at dinners,” Susan reminisced.
Susan served as PSPE’s president from 2013-2014. She has also been a member of many NSPE and PSPE committees. “I am currently a member of NSPE’s Board of Ethical Review.” Susan continued, “There is a total of seven members, from around the country, on the NSPE Board of Ethical Review. I enjoy having colleagues from many states and discussing different issues with them.”
As a result of serving at the chapter, state, and national levels, Susan learned how to work on committees, plan events, and develop and strengthen her leadership skills. She also learned from the older members how vital the PE license is and how to be a professional.
“NSPE has many opportunities for engineers interested in volunteering, and I am glad I said YES when asked to help or consider being an officer. They can't fire volunteers so you can learn and keep trying new things,” Susan shared.
Advice for future engineers | Susan provided the following words of advice for future engineers, “Talk to engineers about what they do. You need the college courses and theory but what you learn during internships and your first few years working are what you may find the most useful. Take the FE exam (EIT) as soon as you are eligible. Take advantage of opportunities to try new things.”
Fun Facts about Susan.
- What’s one thing - either industry-related or not - you learned in the last month? I learned about the history of the US Army Corps of Engineers by attending a CSI meeting.
- How do you spend your free time? I am a golfer with three holes in one to my credit, including one at the 2008 PSPE Conference golf outing at Links of Gettysburg. I also won my fantasy football league twice in 8 years.
- What’s the first concert you ever attended? I saw U2 in New York in 1987.
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Grilled pork chops.
Abraham El | PSPE State Director Philadelphia Chapter
“Membership in PSPE has been very beneficial for me. Volunteering has given me valuable insight into leadership, governance, and policy. My personal and professional networks have greatly expanded. I have regular access to information on critical political, licensure, and employment issues facing engineers. Also, I have had numerous opportunities to grow my knowledge base at meetings, conferences, or by just having conversations with fellow members.”
Abe earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Temple University. He is a Project Manager at Penonni.
Why Abe became an engineer | Abe loved all things transportation from a young age. “Growing up, taking the subway, riding on the highway, watching trains at 30th Street Station, and seeing planes taking off at the airport were such cool things to me,” Abe reminisced. As he got older, he developed an interest in construction, buildings, and learning how cities work. When Abe discovered that Civil Engineering touches on aspects of all those things, he instantly knew it was the field for him. “It has been so awesome to have had the opportunities to work on projects on SEPTA’s Broad Street Subway, at 30th Street Station, and at the Philadelphia International Airport – the same places that inspired me to become a civil engineer as a young boy.”
What Abe love’s about being an engineer |“One of the things I love about my job is that civil engineers quietly design vital infrastructure, systems, facilities, and networks that people need every day.” Abe continued, “Getting to work with other professionals, not just engineers, that are passionate about improving quality of life, solving problems, and making our world a better place is my favorite part of my job.”
How PSPE has positively impacted Abe’s career journey | Abe became a member of PSPE 15 years ago when he was asked to Chair the Philadelphia Chapter MATHCOUNTS program.
Abe is currently the PSPE State Director from the Philadelphia Chapter. He also serves on the National Board of Directors, State Committee, and Philadelphia Chapter Coordination Team for MATHCOUNTS.
“What I enjoy most about volunteering with PSPE is that it shows that engineers collaborate, support worthy causes, and have fun while promoting our profession.”
Abe provided additional reasons why PSPE membership is invaluable to seasoned professionals and those who are just starting on their journey, “Membership in PSPE has been very beneficial for me. Volunteering has given me valuable insight into leadership, governance, and policy. My personal and professional networks have greatly expanded. I have regular access to information on critical political, licensure, and employment issues facing engineers. Also, I have had numerous opportunities to grow my knowledge base at meetings, conferences, or by just having conversations with fellow members.”
Abe’s advice to someone interested in working in the engineering field is to join and get involved in professional societies. Continue to learn. Keep expanding your network.
Fun facts about Abe.
“I love to cook!” Abe exclaimed. “In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, coaching youth basketball, traveling, watching sports, playing sports, reading about sports.”
- What’s the last book you read? PennDOT Pub 408 🙁
- What’s the first concert you ever attended? Jill Scott & The Roots before they got famous.
- If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes!!!!
- How do you define success? Anytime we do something good, especially when correctly applying life lessons and experiences to a situation
- Who inspires you? My Parents…My Children…My Friends
John Nawn, PE, PTOE, CFM, F.NSPE | PSPE Rep. to the NSPE House of Delegates
“What I like best about being a Civil Engineer is the fundamental impact transportation has on our freedom and quality of life.” John continued, “Despite the typical stereotype, Civil Engineering is a people-serving profession. We do what we do to serve mankind.”
John earned his BS and MS, in Civil Engineering, from Drexel University. He is a Civil/Environmental Engineer II with Delon Hampton & Associates, Chartered.
John is presently and has always been a Civil Engineer. “My father was an electrical engineer, so; engineering was always encouraged as a career choice growing up.”
“As a child, I loved to play in the back yard in the dirt with my cars and trucks. As I got older, my fascination with wheeled vehicles traveling overland continued, so Civil Engineering was a natural fit,” John recounted.
Even when John is not pursuing his passion professionally, his hobbies still involve transportation engineering, including off-roading in his Jeeps, following NASCAR, and playing with model trains.
“What I like best about being a Civil Engineer is the fundamental impact transportation has on our freedom and our quality of life.” John continued, “Despite the typical stereotype, Civil Engineering is a people-serving profession. We do what we do to serve mankind.”
John joined PSPE in 1990 when his local chapter had an opportunity to get involved in a leadership role. John had a strong desire to get involved with his profession. “My service within PSPE has allowed me to apply and hone my leadership, management, and organizational skills to further the mission of PSPE and engineering as a whole along with advancing my professional career.”
“PSPE membership and active participation have provided me with networking opportunities and camaraderie with similar like-minded individuals who have a passion for engineering and a desire to make the world a better place,” John shared. Some of John’s most memorable and rewarding moments in his career have come from his involvement in the professional aspects and professional associations within the engineering community.
“I would encourage anyone wishing to pursue a career in engineering to follow
your passion and get involved fully with your profession.”
John has been a member of PSPE’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors for over 15 years. John served as PSPE’s President from 2016-2017. He currently serves as the PSPE Representative to the NSPE House of Delegates and is the Managing Director of NSPE’s Northeast Region.
David K. Williams, PE | PSPE Western Region Vice President
“I recommend active membership in PSPE to current and those on the cusp of entering the world of engineering. Being involved with the Beaver Chapter board, scholarships, meetings, and MATHCOUNT to assist with planning the PSPE state conference, attending conferences, awards, and BOD service has provided me with professional growth opportunities that have enhanced my career.”
Dave is a Senior Transportation Engineering Manager with TranSystems Corporation (who recently acquired L.R. Kimball) in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dave initially joined PSPE back in 1982 because of the PE Review classes offered. “When I joined PSPE almost 40 years ago, I immediately made personal and professional relationships, many of which remain strong and invaluable today,” Dave shared. “I also recognized the importance of protecting the PE license, which was and still is at the core of PSPE’s mission.”
“Being active locally and beyond has been so rewarding!” Dave further added, “It is a true pleasure to serve with my colleagues in various capacities with PSPE and the Beaver County PSPE Chapter.”
It goes without saying that Dave’s colleagues enjoy serving with him as well, as he was honored as the Engineer of the Year in 2004 and received the PSPE President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2013.
Dave is the current State Director for the Beaver Count Chapter and PSPE State Awards Committee Chair. Dave also assists with the Beaver County Chapter MATHCOUNTS program. Since 1992 Dave has been actively involved with Beaver County Chapter’s Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to engineering students attending Geneva College and Penn State Beaver. “Being involved with MATHCOUNTS and the Beaver County Chapter Scholarships Program has allowed me give back to the engineering community and make a positive difference in the trajectory of future engineers.”
“I recommend active membership in PSPE to current and those who are on the cusp of entering the world of engineering,” Dave said. He went on to share, “Being involved with the Beaver Chapter board, scholarships, meetings, and MATHCOUNT to assisting with planning the PSPE state conference planning, attending conferences, awards, and BOD service has provided me professional growth opportunities that have enhanced my career.”
Dave and his wife, Terri, have been married for over 40 years. “Terri and I love to travel. Some recent favorite vacations were to Europe for a cruise in 2019 and our 2020 trip to Nevada, Colorado, Utah and Arizona to see multiple canyons and national parks.
“We have two children, Matthew and Anna, who they are incredibly proud of.” Matthew graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with multiple degrees and is currently a high school History and Economics teacher at Oakland Catholic in Pittsburgh. Anna, who also graduated from Pitt as a Chemical Engineer in 2016 and works at Neville Chemical Company in Pittsburgh. “We feel so fortunate that both our children are local.”
Dave has over 43 years of engineering design and marketing experience related to highways, bridges, and civil engineering facilities. He has designed and managed many transportation projects in the Pittsburgh (and tri-state) region.
1978-80 | While completing his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, David began working for Imagineering, Inc., in York, PA.
1980-82 | Dave relocated to Pittsburgh, where he began his employment with Green International, Inc., where he worked on large regional building and transportation projects.
1982-85 | For three years Dave worked for Frank Moolin & Associates, based in Anchorage, AK as a structural / civil engineer on assignments in both PA and Alaska.
1985-88 | Dave worked for Monaloh Basin Engineers as a structural engineer, inspecting and designing various bridges and building projects.
1988-2016 | Dave spent 29 rewarding years with Michael Baker Corporation. David was a Project Manager and Design Manager on many regional highway projects for both PennDOT (I-99) and the PA Turnpike (Greensburg and Beaver Valley Expressways, Mon/Fayette Expressway and Southern Beltway) during his employment with Baker.
2016 – Present | David has been with L.R. Kimball (now TranSystems) performing QC/QA, Value Engineering, and marketing western PA.
Daniel Cook, PE | PSPE VP Northeast Region
“I joined PSPE in June of 2008 because many of my colleagues were also members. Volunteering allows you to see behind the curtain and see firsthand what is going on with the organization and work with great individuals.”
When asked who inspires him in life, he did not hesitate to respond. “My youngest daughter inspires me every day.” Dan further shared, ” My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and has made great strides in everything she does. Everything she does is 10x’s harder than it is for anyone else, but she does it with a smile on her face.”
Dan is a Senior Project Engineer with Alfred Benesch & Company at their Pottsville office. Dan earned his BS in Environmental Engineering from Wilkes University and an MS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Villanova University.
Dan chose Environmental Engineering as a high schooler because of his love of the outdoors and outdoor activities. "Most of the other PSPE members who know me may be surprised to discover that I am a whitewater kayaker," Dan shared. One of the aspects of being an environmental engineer that Dan enjoys is the design of recreational projects such as trails, playgrounds, parks, and stream restorations.
"One of my most memorable moments was taking my children to one of the parks I designed.
It's kind of hard to get them excited about a wastewater treatment plant."
Dan’s PSPE Journey
“I joined PSPE in June of 2008 because many of my colleagues were also members.” Since joining PSPE, Dan has been a great asset to PSPE, serving on PSPE’s Membership Committee and several state and national conference planning committees. Dan is currently the VP of the Northeast Region and the State Director of the Anthracite Chapter. “Volunteering allows you to see behind the curtain and see firsthand what is going on with the organization and work with great individuals.”
“Being an active member of PSPE has allowed me to serve on a professional board and in leadership positions I may not have had otherwise. By attending conferences and committee meetings, I have met several NSPE Presidents that I would not have been able to meet otherwise.”
I would recommend membership to others to gain leadership opportunities and help protect your PE license. Most of the time, the public has very little involvement with or understanding of what engineers do. Many people overlook what we do daily and may not even know we must be licensed to practice engineering. At some point, elected officials may forget about us and our licenses, in which everyone will be negatively affected.
Dan would give someone interested in working in the engineering field the following advice, “Diversify your skillset. Be agile. Some engineering practices have lows while other disciplines are booming, and the ability to be flexible will allow you to be both knowledgeable and bring another viewpoint to a project.”
Dan’s hobbies include white water kayaking and ham radio. “I have learned about ham radio, and I recently received my General Class Operators license in May.” He is looking forward to communicating with individuals from all over the world.
When asked who inspires him in life, he did not hesitate to respond. “My youngest daughter inspires me every day.” Dan further shared, ” My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and has made great strides in everything she does. Everything she does is 10x’s harder than it is for anyone else, but she does it with a smile on her face.”
Nicole C. Wilson, PE | Vice President of the PSPE Southeast Region
“I would recommend membership to others, whether a younger engineer, mid-level, or advanced, more for the opportunity to connect with other engineers and colleagues on a personal level.” “The work NSPE and PSPE do in advocacy and STEM is important, but just as important is the networking and career opportunities both organizations offer.”
Nicole is the Technical Manager- Air Quality Services at Earthers Group, Inc., in Philadelphia.
Nicole picked chemical engineering when she was a high school senior because she wanted to challenge herself. "Unlike a lot of people, my parents were not engineers, so I had no idea what I was getting into," Nicole said. She went on to share, "I was more interested in biomedical engineering, but at the time, the University of Rochester did not have it as a major or even a minor." She took her advisor's suggestion to focus on one of the core engineering disciplines. Even though she knew it was going to be extremely difficult, she decided to focus on chemical engineering, "Sticking with scheme made sense to me."
After graduation from the University of Rochester, she started her career as an environmental consultant. During this time, Nicole earned a master’s degree from Villanova University in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering and her PE license. “It seems to be a better fit for me considering the combination of technical, people, organizational, administrative, and writing skills it requires.” One of the many aspects that she enjoys about her job is interacting with clients and mentoring staff.
Nicole has had some memorable moments and events in her career. During an audit of a power plant, she recommended that they instituted a non-mandatory (i.e., not a regulatory requirement) recycling program at their facility. "They surprised me with it when I came back the next year. That was pretty cool."
Nicole began her PSPE journey in 2006. In 2011 she received a call from a member of the PSPE Bucks Chapter inviting her to attend their meeting.
Fast forward ten years, "I have made a lot of good friends and contacts through my involvement with PSPE." She knows if she is having a bad day at work, she can pick up the phone and call one of the PSPE guys for a reality check. "I also value the opportunity, especially in my chapter, to learn from the more senior and retired members who have been where I am and can provide good career advice."
She credits being involved with PSPE and the Bucks Chapter to enhancing her public speaker and event organizational skills. These skills have become an invaluable asset to NSPE and PSPE. Nicole is the PECON 2021 Education Committee Chair, a board member of the PSPE's Pennsylvania Engineer Foundation, a member of the PSPE Chapter Task Force and PSPE State Awards Committee, and the Vice President of the PSPE Southeast Region. She is actively involved with the PSPE Bucks Chapter.
"I would recommend membership to others, whether a younger engineer, mid-level, or advanced, more for the opportunity to connect with other engineers and colleagues on a personal level." Nicole further added, "The work NSPE and PSPE do in terms of advocacy and STEM is important, but just as important is the networking and career opportunities both organizations offer."
Nicole enjoys watching Top Chef, reading, traveling and trying new restaurants, especially anything Indian/Thai/Japanese in her free time. She is currently re-reading “The Idiot's Guide to Managing Stress. "It was published in 1999, and it is crazy to see how much things have changed in terms of day-to-day work style and technologies." Nicole was once featured on Action News. Unfortunately, it was before the days of YouTube!
Marleen Troy, Ph.D., PE, BCEE | PSPE 2021-2022 President-Elect Nominee
“I firmly believe that my students and I have greatly benefited from our involvement in PSPE’s Keystone NE Chapter. MATHCOUNTS, speaking events, project tours, and social events have provided opportunities, which have had a positive impact on the students and me.”
Marleen is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Before transitioning to academia, she worked as an environmental engineer performing hazardous waste site remediation. “I have been fortunate to have been involved in projects that successfully employed bioremediation treatment techniques to facilitate site clean-ups. Now, I appreciate utilizing and discussing my previous field and project experiences in the courses I currently teach.” Marleen shared.
“My previous education and training had been on dealing with the “end-of-pipe” management of wastes and facilitating the best ways to dispose of them safely,” Marleen says. She further adds, “Recently, I have been transitioning to learning what can be done differently to prevent the production of these wastes, to begin with, to minimize future disposal challenges.”
Marleen joined PSPE in 2009 because of the professional networking and development opportunities. “My involvement with PSPE gave me opportunities to work with great engineers like Walter Poplawski, who was instrumental in establishing a PSPE Student Chapter a Wilkes University,” she points out, “Wilkes University has held an Order of the Engineer Ceremony for graduation Seniors since 2009.”
She firmly believes that she and her students have greatly benefited from their involvement in PSPE’s Keystone NE Chapter. “MATHCOUNTS, speaking events, project tours, and social events have provided opportunities, which have had a positive impact on the students and me.”
The advice she would give to someone interested in working in the field of engineering is, “The environmental engineering field is constantly changing. Now is a great time to be entering the engineering field, and it is an opportunity to make a difference.”
Additionally, Marleen is active in PSPE, serving as a member of the Board of Directors and on various committees. Marleen is a member of the Pennsylvania Engineering Foundation (PEF). PEF provides scholarships to students going on to study engineering at the Pennsylvanian college. She says, “I appreciate the opportunity to support this important initiative of furthering engineering education opportunities.” Marleen also serves as the Chair of the PSPE Chapter Merger Task Force, is the VP of the Keystone Northeast Region, and is the 2021-2022 President-Elect Nominee.
“On a personal level,” Marleen shared, “I enjoy puttering with vegetable pickling, sourdough baking, and digital media. I am also an avid WaterRower.”