Engineers Week Spotlight: Sylvia Gonzalez, PE

There are many different routes to take in engineering. Why did you choose Transportation?

Through high school, my favorite subjects were math and science, so I knew engineering was in my future. My older brother was majoring in mechanical engineering at the time, and watching him, I knew that was not going to be my route. Dynamics and electrical engineering classes were not my favorite in college. After narrowing down on civil engineering, I realized that large-scale transportation design was more impactful to the public and more rewarding for me to work in. Millions of people are affected daily by long commutes, traffic jams, and deteriorating road conditions. I knew I would feel accomplished in doing my part to help improve roads across the state.

What was your favorite BGE project that you’ve worked on and why?

My favorite project I have worked on so far is the design of the Dallas North Tollway extension over US 380. I started working on this project early in my career and worked on it during its lifespan. I helped design roadway geometry features and created a 3D model of the project. The reason why it’s my favorite is because the project has actually been built. During construction, BGE stayed on to provide construction phase services and respond to any RFIs needed. It is also conveniently located 10 minutes from the Frisco office and on my way home. I was able to see the design come to life. More importantly, when the project opened to the public, I actually drove it.

There are no words to describe the feeling of knowing that a design your team poured countless hours into is open to the public. The public is able to travel on what I designed and modeled. Needless to say, I encountered no hiccups and the ramps and bridges felt very smooth while driving on it. 😉 I felt very proud.

How do you stay connected with the engineering community? Are you involved in any industry organizations or groups?

I attend monthly American Society of Civil Engineers – Dallas Branch meetings to stay up to date with news and projects in the DFW region. Engineers and stakeholders from different cities are known to attend. I also attend multiple conferences yearly to network with people in my industry. The project I am currently working on is a very large design-build project in Tarrant County. For that reason, I attend the TxDOT Construction, Materials, and Alternate Delivery Conference. I also attend the Tarrant Transportation Summits to learn more about progress in Tarrant County. Lastly, it is my goal to continue attending TxDOT Short Course with my clients and coworkers to continue to build relationships in my area of work.

Thursday the 22nd is “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day!” What advice would you give girls who want to be an engineer when they grow up?

There are no limitations to what anyone, especially girls, can aspire to be when they grow up. Pursuing a career as an engineer is not only achievable but also incredibly rewarding. My advice to aspiring young girls who dream of becoming engineers is to study hard in school, not only to grasp the technical aspects but also to cultivate a curious and innovative mindset.

In a field often dominated by men, it’s essential to stand up for yourself and embrace your capabilities with confidence. Be proud to represent women in engineering, as diversity in perspectives strengthens our profession. Recognize that your unique insights and contributions can pave the way for positive change.

Never underestimate your potential; the engineering world is vast and ready to welcome the talents of anyone passionate about making a difference. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Remember, as a future engineer, you have the power to shape the future and contribute to the betterment of society. Dream big and work hard because the possibilities for your future in engineering are truly boundless!

You find a genie in a lamp and have been granted one wish. What would your wish be?

If I had one wish, I would wish for perfect health throughout my lifetime. I would love to have great energy to work, spend time with family, and live a long, happy life.