Meet Laura Campos, PE, ASHE Young Member of the Year

This year, GAI’s Laura Campos earned recognition from the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) for contributions to the highway/transportation industry, the organization, and her community. Laura shares her perspective on winning this national honor.  

Q: What was your reaction to receiving the ASHE Young Member of the Year recognition?

Laura Campos: It was a surprise, and I was happy of course—and it really felt like a group win because I had a lot of support from my team in preparing the award submission. My colleagues decided to really attack the application process, helping me with reference letters and great advice.

There was a lot of shared excitement when we got the news—and my extended team let out this huge roar when my award was announced at a recent department meeting! Not only that—they also announced that I had just earned my Florida Professional Engineer (PE) certification, which turned up the reaction even more.

What’s so great is that this enthusiasm really reflects how we work here at GAI: we’re a mutually supportive team, everybody pitches in, and every success is a shared success.

Q: Can you describe your involvement with ASHE?

Laura: I’m a 3-Year Director and Programs Committee Chair for ASHE Central Florida. As a Director I attend board meetings and offer my input on a range of organization initiatives. As Programs Committee Chair I’m lead coordinator of all the events presented by ASHE Central Florida—I head a six-person team in the role, and it’s given me a great opportunity to meet a lot of people, build a lot of contacts, and make a real impression within the organization.

Q: Sounds like you get a lot done for ASHE—is that energy reflected in your work at GAI?

 Laura: Well, yes—I’m pretty much the same way in every aspect of my life! If I am plugged in to a project, I’m going to give it my all. I take everything pretty seriously, and I don’t hang back in any situation.

I’m very meticulous and I bring that focus to everything I’m involved in. That’s the way I’m wired, and it’s benefited my work at GAI, my relationship with my project teammates, and I believe it benefits the results I help deliver to our clients as well.

Q: Tell us about the projects you work on at GAI, your role, and the emerging trends you’re seeing.

Laura: I design drainage systems on complex roadway projects. I design ponds, inlets, drainage ditches—anything that has to do with moving stormwater off of the road. Some of the work I’ve been involved in recently includes helping design drainage systems for the I-10/I-95 Operational Improvements project in Jacksonville, and for the Turnpike Mainline at I-4 and Resurfacing Mainline Design-Build project in Orlando.

As far as emerging trends I’m seeing, there’s a real emphasis in Florida on the aesthetics of the drainage systems we design. They not only have to work flawlessly, they have to be pleasing to the eye. And to keep the ponds, ditches, and other drainage components looking good, they need to be designed with enough space around them so landscapers and maintenance people can easily access them.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face in the projects you work on?

Laura: The biggest challenges are always time and communication. And having good communication among members of a project team goes a long way toward solving the time challenge. You see, engineers are naturally introverted in many cases. So, if there are, say, four engineers on a team who are heads-down on their individual tasks and not communicating, one may be missing a piece of information or insight that another team member may have—information that can help the project go quicker or help deliver a better result.

Q: And does GAI support the communication and collaboration that helps overcome the challenges you’ve identified?

Laura: Oh, absolutely. We’ve got a lot of great people and lots of locations, but it’s a very family-type feel at GAI. We’re all on the same team—we’re together in our thinking and have a shared commitment to delivering great work. There’s really an incredible work ethic here, and when we have a project to submit, we give it our full focus—just last night the team stayed well past ‘regular’ business hours in order to meet our deliverables, and that’s not an isolated incident at all.

GAI is a cohesive team, we pitch in for each other, and we can reach out for support from a wide range of engineering disciplines whenever we need it. And I believe our clients really catch that when they meet with us, and it inspires confidence in the focus and expertise we’ll bring to their projects.

Contact Project Engineer Laura Campos, PE, 321.319.3031, for more information about GAI’s transportation engineering services. 

Laura Campos, PE works out of GAI’s Orlando office in support of the firm’s Southeast Transportation market. Recognized as the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Young Member of the Year for 2019, her experience includes numerous transportation/drainage engineering and land development projects across Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Puerto Rico, and Texas.

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