One of the keys to ensuring the future of the engineering industry is engaging the next generation. KCI has a long history of outreach efforts, both to teachers and students. This summer, the firm hosted an extern from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce who shadowed several departments over a three week period. Through this program, the chamber pairs high-school teachers with local businesses to gain real-world experience and share perspectives and insight into both industry and educational challenges. Their goal is to secure the state’s long-term economic future through preparation of the next generation workforce.
Baltimore City school teacher Shiron Lindsay spent time with our upper management, discipline heads and practice leaders, absorbing our processes to take some hands-on experience back to her students. At Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, her classrooms focus on engineering and computer science. Shiron is also a leader in the National Society of Black Engineers and an advocate for minorities and women entering the engineering field.
Throughout her first week at KCI, Shiron spoke with Senior Vice President and Water Market Leader Gary Mryncza, PE, PH, LEED AP, and his team about water quality in the area and the role that the Back River and Patapsco wastewater treatment plants play in enhancing it. She learned how KCI scientists and engineers work with local agencies to create designs to address water, wastewater, hazardous waste, industrial hygiene and environmental degradation concerns using MicroStation, AutoCAD, WaterGEMS, and Revit software.
She then spent time with Executive Vice President and Transportation Market Leader Scott Lang, PE, CCM, and several of his practice leaders to discuss how engineers are planning and designing forward-thinking solutions for all modes of transportation. KCI is utilizing technology such as LiDAR, drones, photogrammetry, and virtual and augmented reality to shape the future of transportation systems and procedures.
During her last week of shadowing, Shiron met with Executive Vice President and Site/Facilities Market Leader Charles Phillips, Jr., RPLS. She was briefed on topics such as mechanical design, our role in bringing 5G to homes and businesses, and how surveying is at the foundation of many KCI projects. Our team demonstrated how 3D scanners and Building Information Models provide necessary information for engineers, architects and developers.
Shiron wrapped up her externship with a presentation to upper management on what she learned. She recapped her experience and informed our team of the struggles that area students need to overcome to be successful in the engineering industry. With this newfound knowledge of real-world application, Shiron returns to her classroom ready to prepare the next generation of engineering students.
During her time with the firm, Shiron posted regularly to a blog about her experiences. You can read more here.