Celebrating Women in Engineering

As a mission-driven business with a goal of creating active communities, we know that when our engineers bring many different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to our projects, we get better results. We are committed to creating an encouraging work environment for women to thrive and grow in their careers.

To celebrate National Engineers Week, Alta asked our female engineers around the continent about their profession: why they pursued engineering, why they chose to work at Alta, and what developments in active transportation excite them.

“I was searching for a field of expertise that would bring together an element of technical skills, people skills, and quite simply—joy. Growing up active with an interest in the environment, and then living in a walkable community and having young kids, helped drive my focus on walking and bicycling. I truly see it as an essential part of great city building.”

Kate Whitfield, P.Eng., MCIP, RPP, Senior Associate Engineer/Planner
Ottawa, ON

“I have completely changed the way I look at a roadway since transitioning from a traditional traffic engineer, forecasting traffic volumes 20 years out and widening roadways to accommodate traffic, to now driving along super wide roadway envisioning a reallocation of the width to reduce the number of travel lanes and fit in some super cool bike facilities! I think the coolest thing would be reversing some traditional views of roadways and how to efficiently move people.”

Amy Jackson, PE, PTOE, Senior Engineer
San Diego, CA

“I saw civil engineering as a way to help the public directly. Now, I work providing better and safer roads, sidewalks, and bike lanes for my community. I believe that active transportation engineering has the capacity to lead the way in what I call equity engineering. We, as engineers, need to begin to incorporate racial and socioeconomic equity into our design to provide the communities we work in with safe, high-quality transportation modes. Alta is uniquely positioned to pursue this type of engineering and that’s why I chose to work here.”

Marisa DeMull, EIT, Engineer
Portland, OR

“When I was a small girl, I already was intrigued by building whatever I had in mind – from Lego cars to small huts in the forest. Engineering seemed to be just a natural extension as it offered explanations and in-depth knowledge of how things really work. I believe that at Alta I can use my knowledge to really make a difference for the community. I work with a young and dynamic team on truly inspiring projects.”

Marion Furtschegger, Engineer
Durham, NC

“I pursued engineering because it was a way to challenge myself and have an ever-evolving career. I found Alta through the NACTO guide, and thought: “How cool would it be to work for them! Engineering ways for people to bike and walk more comfortably sounds amazing! I’m really excited about how engineering in active transportation offers so many opportunities to be creative and innovative. Every project is different and presents new challenges to overcome.”

Chloe Ward, EIT, Engineer
Denver, CO

“As a civil engineer, I look for creative ways to improve people’s lives by changing and shaping the world around them. Right now, I’m most excited about the fact that active transportation projects aren’t limited to big cities. Small, rural towns here in the Southeast are also investing in their communities by expanding their options for active transportation and recreation. The result is more choices in areas where a car is often the only option, and there are few (if any) safe places to walk or bike. I am excited to be a part of creating infrastructure that allows more people in our region to lead safe, healthy and active lives.”

Diane Jlelaty, EIT, Engineer
Greenville, SC

“I always had a passion for transportation, whether it was learning signal timings or watching lane merges. Bicycle and pedestrian design became a strong extension of that passion. Individuals should feel comfortable and safe, no matter what mode of transportation they decide to take. So, one corridor at a time, I strive to make it safe to travel, whether you’re in a car, on a bike, or just walking your dog.”

Lindsay Zefting, PE, Senior Engineer
Troy, NY

“I chose to work at Alta because I believe that active transportation plays a key role in creating healthier and more equitable communities. I love working with communities to create safe and accessible transportation options for all users through innovative planning and design.”

Erin Convery, EIT, Engineer
Durham, NC