Elizabeth Byrd: 2024 TSPE Greater Houston Chapter Young Engineer of the Year Award

Elizabeth Byrd, PE, Project Manager, Public Works at BGE, was born in Miami, and her childhood unfolded under the Floridian sun. At eight, she embarked on a life-changing journey as her family returned to her parents’ native country of Venezuela in 1997. Having learned Spanish from her parents, she adjusted easily to the vibrant culture of her new home. She quickly stood out amongst her peers academically and in sports.

While in high school, she had set her sights on becoming a dentist and had even been accepted into dental school. However, her father had other plans for her during the six-month gap before she could start her career after graduation. “Taking it easy” while waiting for classes to start was not an option. Her father encouraged her to try something different other than dentistry. Ultimately, her father persuaded her to give civil engineering a chance. In 2007, Elizabeth started her studies in Maracaibo, Venezuela.  She had found her true passion.

Back in the U.S., she took undergraduate classes at Miami Dade Community College to validate her Venezuelan degree, and once that was crossed off her list, it was time to pursue a master’s degree in civil engineering at Florida International University. Then, the next logical step was obtaining her PE license. “I work in the water and wastewater industry. “A PE license establishes professional credibility and proves one’s ability to serve the public directly. It demonstrates commitment to the profession, along with dedication to upholding high quality and safety standards.”

Eventually, Elizabeth relocated to Houston, where her achievements and involvement with community and technical society activities have grown exponentially. She has dedicated her time to volunteer work with various organizations and programs, including Habitat for Humanity, Earth Day, Houston Food Bank, CYCLE Christmas, animal shelters, the Living Legacy Center, and the 2023 Texas Water Conference. She’s also an active member of the non-profit organization Houston Engineers Week and the Houston Hispanic Architects and Engineers (HHAE).

This year, Elizabeth will be honored for her outstanding early career contributions to engineering and her community. She will receive the 2024 Young Engineer of the Year Greater Houston Chapter Award at the Houston Engineers Week YEOY Recognition Dinner on February 19. She is currently enrolled in the TSPE PE Leadership Institute (PELI) Program and will graduate in June.

Not everything in life revolves around work, though. She enjoys embarking on annual road trips to national parks and spending time with her husband and their two-year-old son.

When it comes to values, BGE’s align well with hers. “I have a strong passion for community service, and BGE is about making a difference through service. I want to make an impact, and at BGE, I can contribute to the company’s growth and push my capabilities to new levels. I am in the right place to build a rewarding and impactful career.” 

The day of her college graduation in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Elizabeth, her husband, and their 2-year-old visiting the Antelope Island State Park in Utah.