Engineers Week: Meet Julie!

Name: Julie Kroll, PE, PTOE

Engineering Discipline: Traffic Engineering

Years in the field: 18

Hobbies outside of work: Shopping, travel and shopping while traveling

Fun fact about yourself: I have a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Karate

When did you know you wanted to be an engineer and what drew you to your specific engineering discipline?
I learned about engineering as a career option when I was in 8th grade. I originally wanted to do Environmental Law and a family friend said that with my aptitude for math I should look into environmental engineering. From there I learned about the field of civil engineering and focused my high school courses toward a future in engineering. It wasn’t until I was in college that I was able to really explore civil engineering and focus my degree in Transportation Engineering. Even in transportation engineering there are further sub disciplines. After working for less than a year, I knew that Traffic Engineering was where I needed to be and for 17 years that’s where I’ve stayed and loved every minute of it!

What would most people be surprised to learn about the engineering field?
It’s about people. The numbers are the easy part; it’s the people that make it interesting. The people you work with, the clients you work for, and the people you meet along the way when doing a project. It was makes engineering fun, exciting, and different everyday.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on at F&V, and why?
I’ve worked on hundreds of projects while at F&V, so it’s hard to choose one, but I would say my favorite project was an Amazon Distribution Ccenter that we did the traffic study and signal design. It was the trifecta of great projects. The client was wonderful, the reviewing agency was top notch, and the F&V team was great. Again, it was a great project not because it was super cool, which it was, but it was the people that made it so great.

How has working at F&V helped shape your life and/or career?
I have learned more at F&V about the value of relationships than any place else I’ve ever worked. The culture at F&V is so unique in this industry that it’s what makes coming in everyday such a great experience.

If you could give your younger self advice about engineering, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff; don’t take things personally. Do your best, but be prepared to fail; it’ll make you smarter and stronger.

What are some challenges and triumphs you’ve experienced as female engineer?
I have experienced many of the same challenges other women in the work place experience. Sexism, ageism, wage discrimination, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and discrimination. As a female in a male dominated industry, I’ve learned to stand up for myself, own a room, and stand out amongst my peers.

How do you personally advocate for women engineers?
I’m a member of WTS (Women Transportation Seminar) which has a scholarship program for the advancement of women in engineering degree programs.