Getting to Know... - June Edition

This month we are getting to know Katie Hickey, our current Social Activities Chair and Brian Phan, our K-12 Outreach Chair.

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Katie Hickey

 

                

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Brian Phan

Where did you grow up?

Where did you grow up?

Small town in Massachusetts (not Boston…believe it or not there is more to the state than one city!) Although I don’t live there any more, I still considered Rosemead, California as my home town. In Rosemead, I went to Muscatel Middle School and Rosemead High School.

Where did you go to college?

Where did you go to college?

USC (University of Southern California).

I attended California State University of Los Angeles. During my academic career I was ASCE executive board as Vice President, Survey Team Captain, PSWC conference chair, and Steel Bridge competition member. I was also sat on the board for Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and participated in the seismic design competition.

Who do you work for? Tell us about some of the projects that you have worked on.

Who do you work for? Tell us about some of the projects that you have worked on.

I recently started a new job at a small engineering firm called WKE (Wei Koo Engineering). We do mostly transportation design for rail and roadway projects. I do structural design, so bridges, retaining walls, culverts etc. Right now I’m working on design for the I-5 widening in Mission Viejo and before that I worked on SR-91 widening design build project out in Corona, and also the Devore Interchange (I-15 to 215) design build. Over the past 7 years, I’ve worked on other projects like the Metro Orange line extension in Canoga park, Express Lanes project on I-10 and 110 freeways (fun fact almost every sign structure on that project is special designed by yours truly!). I also did a stint working for FEMA as a technical assistance contractor in New York after Hurricane Sandy a few years ago.

After working at a few firms, I finally settled at LADOT as a Transportation Engineer Associate as part of the Metro Program team. My primary project is Crenshaw/LAX transit project which is an 8.5-mile light-rail line connecting LAX to the Expo line. The rail line will run between the Expo Line on Exposition Bl and the Metro Green Line. As a transportation engineer, LADOT works close with consultants to ensure that all designs to meet city standard and safety regulations. I am responsible for checking and designing signal plans for rail intersections. In addition, I design connections that pair up with Los Angeles ATSAC (Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control) system to ensure all interconnect cables are properly linked.

How long have you been involved with ASCE? What positions have you held?

How long have you been involved with ASCE? What positions have you held?

I’ve been involved with YMF since I graduated from college in 2011 as Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition Chair and now as a Social Chair. I got involved initially with ASCE as a student working on the concrete canoe project, Concrete Canoe Captain, and President of my student chapter.

I have been in ASCE since I first started college and have been involved ever since. ASCE has become more of a life style as it incorporates both interested of my personal and professional life. Being involved in ASCE has connected me with some of the most amazing people in my profession and it has helped me tremendously grow as a young professional. I have made some awesome friends and always have a good time working with ASCE. In addition, I love helping out my community which pairs up with some of the goals at ASCE.

My involvement in LA YMF included
• K-12 Outreach Co Chair (2014 – Present)
• Social Media Chair
• PSBC Co-chair / Committee Member
• WRYMC Committee Member
• Civil Engineering Club Advisor/Mentor

Are you involved with any other professional organizations?

Are you involved with any other professional organizations?

I attend WTS events when I can and have gone to several AAa/e (Asian American Architects and Engineers) over the years as well. There are so many activities and events within ASCE that it can be difficult to make time for other organizations. I do look forward to be involved with ITE in the near future.

What are your interests outside of engineering?

What are your interests outside of engineering?

Travel! I want to see the world and try to take one international trip a year (and am always looking for chill travel buddies!) I also read a lot of books and enjoy tasting all of the delicious beers and wines both locally and when I travel.

I love working with kids and inspiring the next generation of engineers. Growing up, I didn’t know what an engineer was so if I can enlighten the younger generation, perhaps they can pick the road map to become an engineer.

One of my biggest passions is being the Engineering Coach for Muscatel Middle School Science Olympiad Team. I’ve been a coach for 3 years and spend a majority of my free time and weekends helping the students design and create some of the most amazing engineered devices. Competition is extremely fierce but that’s what makes it fun and worthwhile. As a coach, I was fortunate to win multiple Southern California Championships and represent California at the National Science Olympiad Tournament.

What is your most prized/treasured possession?

What is your most prized/treasured possession?

I can’t live without my phone, but I wouldn’t call it a “prized” possession…but I don’t think I really have one. I think when it comes down to it if my apartment was on fire and I could only grab one thing to take with me it would be my cat, Monster.

Don’t think I have anything too valuable that I can’t replace.  I do like to safe keep all my photos that I take.

What is your dream vacation?

What is your dream vacation?

I would love to go to Italy and Greece BUT without all of the other tourists…so a month in each without having to deal with all of the other people!

I look forward to vacationing in Japan! I love the culture, people, lifestyle, and food! I do plan on making my dream come true this year =).