By Laurel Johnson, PE
This year, I am celebrating my 29th anniversary with SME. It’s not often someone spends nearly their entire post-college career with one company. Although I did have a short stint working for a wonderful structural engineer that helped me figure out I was NOT created to be a structural engineer, I have been with SME for all but 3 months of my “professional career”.
Why have I stayed? I appreciate the freedom I have in choosing the projects I work on. I appreciate the investment SME has in our people – from the 3-day “All-Hands” all-company event each winter to the support provided for more specific learning/training. I appreciate the wonderful people I work with. I have some of the best clients in the industry. I have worked on some of the most prominent/important/impactful/challenging projects in my community. I love what I do and the people I am privileged to work with and for. It’s rare in this time of mergers and cut-throat bidding that a firm seeks to work seamlessly across all offices and groups to best support projects and clients.
I have worked for years to convince more women that a career in geotechnical engineering is a wonderful thing, and have experienced periods where I was the only female on the team to now, where 20 percent of our team are women!