National Engineers Week Spotlight: Heidi Utterback, PE

By working together, engineers develop new technologies, products, and opportunities that change how we live. DCCM is proud to say we employ some of the best engineers in the nation, and we’re honoring them by celebrating #WhatEngineersDo with DiscoverE! This Eweek, we hope that you’ll take a moment to recognize and celebrate the work of our DCCM Family of Companies engineers!

Today’s spotlight: Heidi Utterback, PE (Coastland Civil Engineering)

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

I had always loved math growing up and knew I wanted to pursue something that involved math. Following high school, I went to the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) and took a variety of classes, including calculus. After doing really well on my first calculus exam, my older brother encouraged me to pursue engineering. I got involved with the engineering club at SRJC and learned more about the different types of engineering. I was intrigued with the many aspects of civil engineering, including transportation, structural, environmental, geotechnical, and utility infrastructure (water, sewer, and storm drain), and decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

2. What advice would you give girls who want to be an engineer when they grow up?

Engineering is for anyone, male or female. Engineering is a career in which you can use your knowledge and collaborate with others to come up with designs and solutions that have a lasting impact, as well as something you can take pride in. No two projects are the same, and there is always an opportunity to learn new techniques or ways to improve future projects.

3. What has been one of your favorite Coastland Civil Engineering projects to have been a part of?

My favorite and most memorable project was the “Mitchell Shiloh Conde Assessment District,” which included almost every aspect of an infrastructure project: roadway improvements, sewer, water, reclaimed water, storm drain, creek culvert crossings, railroad crossings, traffic signals, landscaping, street lighting, right-of-way acquisition, assessment district engineering, and environmental permitting. In addition, this project provided the necessary roadway widening, frontage improvements, and utility upgrades for future adjacent developments. I was involved in this project from the beginning concepts to the final construction completion, a 10-year-long process. To this day, every time I drive through this project, I feel proud to have been one of the design engineers on such an important project for the town.

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

I’d wish that my mom was still around to see and enjoy the success and happiness of all of her kids and grandkids.

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