#Eweek2023 Spotlight | Julia Kaminski
For National Engineers Week 2023, we’re sharing stories from Cushing Terrell’s engineering talent to learn more about how they chose their profession and what makes them tick.
Who or what inspired you to be an engineer?
When I was a kid, I read each month’s issue of National Geographic cover-to-cover. My favorite stories were about the people who developed an innovative solution to a challenge their community was facing. I loved the creativity involved. I was drawn to the possibility of bringing a concept into tangible reality, and the power to generate a positive impact in other people’s lives.
Who is an engineer you look up to and/or admire?
My grandfather. Although not an engineer by trade, he’s a woodworker and has an engineer’s brain. I grew up learning from him in his basement woodshop, which was another part of my decision to become an engineer! He taught me the value of patience, the importance of care and attention in my work, and the necessity of a clean and organized space.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
Sustainable design — I love that what’s healthy for the natural environment tends to go hand-in-hand with what’s healthy for us. I spent a lot of time outdoors with my family when I was growing up, and it became equally important for me to protect my environment as it was to look out for my community.
What is one of your favorite projects and why?
The streetscape modernization project in Basalt, Colorado. The intent is to modernize the main road through downtown as the town gains popularity as a tourist destination. I like the focus on pedestrian access and intermixing the town’s history with its future. The town’s age and origins make it an especially interesting example of how many of the small mountain towns here in the Rockies can grow.
The Midland Avenue Streetscape project in Basalt, Colorado, is designed to boost vitality, enhance economic development opportunities, build resiliency into crucial infrastructure, improve pedestrian access throughout town, and connect the newly renovated Basalt River Park to historic downtown.
What things can you not help but engineer in your life?
My living space. I enjoy spending time on efficiency of storage and processes, effective use of space, and minimizing wasted resources. It’s a continuous process that makes my roommate think I’m crazy. Helpful! But crazy.
What piece of advice would you give a young person interested in becoming an engineer?
Start with your values. How can you live out your values in your professional life? What professional goals manifest from your values? What role or discipline might help you fulfill those things now?
Julia at a Glance
- Civil Engineer in Training
- Living in Denver, Colorado
- Defining characteristics: Kind, organized, and fun!
- Interests: I love doing and learning new things. Enjoying the trails at all times of the year, sun or snow, is also one of my favorite pastimes.