#FemaleFriday

Alexa Egan Harper, PE, ENV SP

Alexa Egan Harper is a Highway Engineer at Gannett Fleming with 12 years of experience. Alexa grew up in New Jersey and graduated with both a bachelor and masters in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. She is the current 1st Vice President of the American Society of Highway Engineers, Delaware Valley Chapter and lives in Royersford, PA with her husband and two young sons.

What do you enjoy most about your current position? Your career as a civil engineer?

My work changes every day, which keeps my life interesting! I am a highway designer in our Valley Forge Office and a Consultant Project Manager on several PennDOT Projects in District 6-0. I also do construction consultation for the I-95 Turnpike Interchange Projects in Bristol, PA. On any day I may be in the field, at the PennDOT office or in our Valley Forge office. The variation keeps things interesting and allows me to meet and talk to different people every day.

How do you balance work, a family, and professional society leadership?

I was always involved in a lot of activities as a kid, so balancing work and society involvement has always felt natural. Having two small children makes things a bit trickier! My husband and I share a lot of responsibilities and we are fortunate to have family close by. I am also very thankful that my employer has allowed me the flexibility necessary to juggle it all on a daily basis.

What advice would you give to a student currently studying engineering?

In order to get exposure on the different aspects of civil engineering, I would encourage students to seek various internships during the summer months or college breaks. I feel that's key to determining if civil engineering - or engineering in general - is the right path for them.

I would also encourage students and young engineer to find a mentor, whether formally or informally, who can give them advice and guidance during the early stages of their careers. This has been invaluable to my growth as a young professional.