By working together, engineers develop new technologies, products, and opportunities that change how we live. DCCM is proud to say we employ some of the best engineers in the nation, and we’re honoring them by celebrating #WhatEngineersDo with DiscoverE! This Eweek, we hope that you’ll take a moment to recognize and celebrate the work of our DCCM Family of Companies engineers!
Today's spotlight: Inas Aweidah, MBA, PE, PMP (DCCM)
1. How has the industry changed since the start of your career?
Two things have changed. First, technology had a lot to do with the evolution of our work since the beginning of my career in the 1980s when we relied heavily on our skilled draftsman and draftswomen. We had limited computers, depended on the mail and faxes to communicate, and used typewriters to document meetings and prepare important documents (business was primarily conducted in person). Comparing then to now, we are heavily immersed in technology and are completely dependent on our computers, tablets, and mobile phones; we use virtual and 3D technology to communicate and connect; and we reach out more and more to communities by using social platforms.
Second, the number of women engineers has increased. That is a positive sign, but relative to the number of women in the workforce, the percentage of women engineers is still relatively low. We need to encourage middle and high school girls to get interested in STEM programs!
2. What do you get out of engineering that you couldn’t get from any other kind of work?
Our work is very rewarding! We build communities and provide services that are used and felt by everyone, our work is focused on improving quality of life, and our products are tangible—you can see, feel, use, and enjoy it.
3. What project have you been involved with that had the most significant impact on your career?
One of the most recent projects, “The REAL Plan,” where I served as Project Manager. The REAL Plan is a visionary project that TxDOT Houston District envisioned for the future of our region. It is meant to revolutionize the way we think about the use of our roadway network and how to connect various modes of transportation using regional express access lanes. It also allows the use of multi-modes to get from point A to point B. The project incorporates new and emerging technologies to build a comprehensive connected system in multi-modal hubs to serve the people and freight needs in the area.
4. What is your favorite thing to do to take your mind off of work and remove yourself from the “hustle and bustle?”
It is hard to disconnect from our work these days with us being so connected to everything via our cell phones. And since many of us are working remotely at times, we are converting part of our homes to offices, so it's becoming more challenging to separate work from our everyday activity. In my case, boating and traveling have been a big part of my family's lives. Those activities allow us to spend quality time together and get a break from our everyday routine, explore new places, experience new cultures, decompress, and get re-energized. In addition, like many during the pandemic, we adopted two beautiful cats that became part of our family—they have been a great source of happiness to everyone.