Name: Jessica Acosta
Title: Project/Quality/Cost Engineer
Years in the A/E/C Industry: 6 years
What associations or organizations are you a member of? Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers; Skanska Young Professionals
Why the A/E/C Industry? My grandfather inspired my interested in the A/E/C industry. Childhood summers were spent in Maine with my Grandfather who was the Public Works Superintendent for the Town of Houlton and the very definition of a Renaissance man. We drove all over the state of Maine while he pointed out why towns developed where they are, how to identify a structure’s age based on the architectural style, and the importance of thinking through problems and coming up with a solution.
Advice/Keys to Success: Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to use your resources. You grow by taking on new challenges, but you won’t always know how to do everything. When you get to that point where you need help, reach out to a colleague who has more experience in that area. Most people are happy to help!
What was your most notable project in 2017? My most notable project in 2017 was the planning and execution of the Rapid Construction phase of the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation. This work involved shutting down the Red Line trains at the end of service on Friday night, removing the existing tracks, demoing the bridge span below the tracks, installing precast units on temporary shoring, rebuilding the tracks, and returning the tracks to service for the Monday morning commute.
If you had a mentor in your career, who was it and what did they teach you? I consider Pat Blais, my team lead on the Longfellow Bridge, a mentor. When I began working on the project, I didn’t have experience working with structural steel. He patiently answered all of my questions, taught me where to look for answers, taught me to not be afraid of speaking up, and most importantly, he trusted in my abilities and gave me a lot of responsibility which taught me to have confidence in my work.