Engineers Week: Meet Danell!

Name: Danell Smith

Years of experience: 3.5 years

A fun fact about myself: My boyfriend and I go to Michigan breweries and collect pint glasses. We are up to 36 and have visited more breweries that don’t sell glasses.

A single word to define me: Motivated

I would be lost without: My lists. I make one for everything; weekly to do lists at work and home, grocery lists, packing lists for trips.

When did you know you wanted to be an engineer? My senior year of High School. My two older brothers are engineers, so it was in the back of my mind for a couple years before that. While deciding what college to go to I was also deciding between social work and engineering.

What’s been your favorite F&V project to work on and why? The West Shore Community College water tower project. Many of our projects are underground where the average person would never see it, so it is exciting to have a project 175’ in the air you can point to and tell friends and family you designed that.

How do you feel you are making a difference to the engineering industry/community? It is rewarding to help so many communities throughout Michigan, especially when funding assistance is involved, to turn their needs into a reality.

How has a mentor helped you grow as an engineer / how have you helped an engineer grow in their career? Being relatively new to the engineering industry, I have had to opportunity to learn so much as a municipal engineer. My mentor has helped me along from day one in the things they don’t teach you in school and push me to be confident in making design decisions on my own. I hope to follow in my mentor’s footsteps and give the time and resources I’ve received to new engineers.

If you could work on any project (future or past – and doesn’t need to be F&V) what would it be and why? If I could have worked on any project, it would be the Mackinac Bridge. It is an amazing project, especially for its time. The idea of having a hand in a project like that was one of the things that drew me to civil engineering.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020? (career-wise or in general) Getting my PE license in June.