#FemaleFriday

Cathy Farrell, PE

Cathy Golata Farrell, PE is HNTB's highway department manager covering its Pennsylvania offices. She is also the project manager for PennDOT District 6-0's Groups M & N bridges consisting of the replacement and rehab of 10 structures over two construction packages. Cathy's noteworthy projects include the following ASHE DelVal Project of the Year winners: 2015 West Maple Ave Roundabout & Bridge, 2011 Gustine Lake Interchange, and the 2010 SR 202 Sec 701 Parkway. Cathy has a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University. She is currently the ASCE Philadelphia Section President and is co-chair of ASCE's 2018 Pennsylvania Report Card on Infrastructure. She and her husband, Tim (also a civil engineer), have two young children, Dean and Avery.

What do you enjoy most about your current position? Your career?

What I love most about my career is knowing people's lives are safer and quality of life is improved as a result of the projects I work on. To this day, I still get excited when I go by highway, bridge and trail projects I've worked on. It's motivating in those moments to see the big picture outcome that resulted from a team's detailed design efforts.

In my current position as HNTB's Pennsylvania's highway department manager, I enjoy working with different teams of people as challenging problems are solved. Every day I learn something new and the days go by fast!

Who is/are your role model(s)?

I admire my female predecessors who had the courage to be in the field when there was an even smaller percentage of women engineers. I admire women like Rina Cutler and Denise Goren that are smart, logical and are not afraid to hold back their thoughts even when it may be unpopular. I consider Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards a role model since she was able to transform a technical career as a project manager into an elected position by using her inter-personal skills and then an appointed governmental position that broadened her influence with each step of her career...all while raising three children!

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

I encourage engineering students to try a variety of things. Being involved in a variety of on-campus activities will lead you to make new friends, relieve stress and improve time management skills. Taking on leadership roles will teach many inter-personal skills that you'll benefit from later in your career. Trying a variety of technical discipline internships/co-ops is a great way to test run career paths to see what stimulates you before committing to a field.