If you ask Jeff Fuchs what he does, you might be surprised to hear a…
California Water/Wastewater Regional Manager Linda Scroggs has been a civil engineer for over 35 years, which means she’s not only a key leader in our firm but an excellent mentor with valuable advice for anyone who’s making their way in the field of engineering. Today, we’re excited to learn a little more about how she got her start.
Meet Linda Scroggs, CA W/WW Regional Manager
How did you decide to become a civil engineer? It was very circuitous. With my undergraduate degree, I was on my way to an international career in low-income countries, specifically focused on water-related infrastructure (supply and irrigation). My drafting skills helped me support myself by working in a civil engineering firm. I really liked it but was starting to think I wanted to DO the design myself. I met my future husband (an engineer), and when I saw what he did I KNEW I had to do it, too. I went back to school, had a fantastic professor as a mentor—Dr. Ken Kerri—and he guided me through to my master’s in civil engineering. It wasn’t easy (add on having a baby in the midst of it all), but it has been soooo rewarding—no regrets.
What kinds of challenges have you navigated as woman in the field? Honestly, I’ve not focused on being a woman in the field, just focused on being a contributing engineer on the TEAM. I’ve often been surprised to look around and see I’m the only female in the room, but I never took the time to dwell on it, and it never was a problem. I’m not saying it was smooth sailing all the way, but any bias I faced was the other individual’s problem and I worked through it with a lot of support from most of my coworkers and my family. Of course, I faced the same challenges many moms do in trying to balance my career with raising my children. I think I did a pretty good job!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do? I LOVE designing and seeing the successful construction of projects I helped design. It’s even better when I have a happy client!
What’s something you’ve done in your career that you’re proud of? I am VERY proud of the multiple engineers I have mentored through the years. To see them so successful now is such a great pleasure. I am also very proud to have supported new moms who wanted to return to work, but continue breastfeeding, by implementing “privacy rooms.” I blazed that trail!
What advice do you have for girls and women who are interested in your field? I would say, GO FOR IT! I would tell them to not worry about any adversity. When I started my career, I was WAY in the minority, but I just wanted to be an engineer and I achieved that goal. It has been a wonderful career, and the best part is that I am constantly working on new and different projects, and still LEARNING.