A Talk with Aimee Shields, ENR Southeast Top Young Professional

GAI Sr. Engineering Manager shares her thoughts on being honored by top engineering industry journal.

ENR SoutheastThis year, GAI’s Aimee Shields, PE, MBA has been ranked among the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Southeast’s Top Young Professionals for 2019—taking her place among a promising class of visionaries recognized for their standout performance.

ENR is one of the engineering industry’s most trusted professional publications. For the last 9 years, the ENR Southeast Top Young Professionals program (formerly Top 20 Under 40) has highlighted outstanding up-and-coming design, construction, and engineering talent.

A civil engineer with a growing resume of impactful work in the Orlando, FL area and beyond, Aimee shares her thoughts on being honored by ENR Southeast and some of the projects at GAI that have contributed to her recognition.

Q: Can you tell us how it felt to recognized among the ENR Southeast Top Young Professionals for 2019?

Aimee Shields: When I heard about the recognition, I just felt wow. At first, I really couldn’t believe it. I don’t know why, but it probably took receiving the recognition for me to realize how much I really do and how involved I am—not just at work, but in my community as well. It felt great.

Aimee Shields

Q: Can you tell us how the recognition reaffirms your belief in what you do at GAI and what we do for our clients?

Aimee: It’s good to see that other people can recognize what GAI does—and I have to say that the great projects I’m involved in at GAI and the quality of our work as a company are what really gave me the opportunity to receive this honor. We have a really solid technical team here, and getting to work with this team has made it possible for me to be recognized.

Q: What functions do you typically perform in your capacity as civil engineer?

Aimee: The technical work that I do specifically is site design—that is, civil engineering that focuses on site development. When a client is developing a site, they’ll need water for their building, sewer service, somewhere for people to park, a way to manage stormwater, and so on. These are the kinds of things that I work on: everything from managing the civil engineering design to getting all the municipal permits and approvals, and then on to building and construction. I also help oversee and review project submittals and any contracts or questions throughout the construction phase of the project.

Q: You mentioned your interest in creating a better community—can you expand on that a little bit and give me an idea of how that might play in to your work?

Aimee: I tend to gravitate towards things that will make a positive impact for others. Like the work we do for Quest, Inc., whose residential development Quest Village is tailored to the needs of independent people with developmental difficulties. This is very rewarding work, and something that I feel is really going to make a difference.

Work like this is helping make Orlando an overall better city—and I love Orlando. I love living here, I love seeing my city grow, and I’m proud to be a part of projects like these.

Creative Village is another really interesting project on the site of the old Amway Arena in Orlando. It’s a mixed-use, multi-structure development that’s geared toward supporting creative learning and business, anchored by University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia College. UCF will have a campus on the site, offering student housing and courses of study specific to the Creative Village campus. Ultimately, the site will include recreation centers, park space, a hotel, and 1,500 mixed-income and market-rate apartments. The infrastructure master plan we worked on for the project will also help guide future developers on the Creative Village site as there are still a handful of properties that are to be developed in that area.

Another project is the Packing District on the west side or Orlando. There, we’re helping develop a whole new district that is really going to open up a door to that side of town, paving the way toward a new neighborhood where people will have places to go, places to love, places to eat and to work. We’re helping design a park within the district and making roadway improvements that will improve access and visitor experience, helping make the area a destination for pedestrians and cyclists as the district develops.

Work like this is helping make Orlando an overall better city—and I love Orlando. I love living here, I love seeing my city grow, and I’m proud to be a part of projects like these.

Q: It’s terrific to hear about how gratifying it is for you to help build a better Orlando—do you have any parting thoughts about receiving the ENR Southeast Top Young Professional honor?   

 Aimee: Well, again I need to credit GAI for offering me a professional environment that I can really thrive in. The great projects we work on here have given me the opportunity to build not only my skills but my reputation as well. I can say that I have hundreds of skilled co-workers across the U.S. that I can work with, offering each project a multifaceted pool of highly-skilled technical talent. Additionally, our emphasis on solid project management and smart staffing helps ensure that we assemble great teams and meet each project’s unique challenges. And we’re all about building relationships with clients and municipalities—relationships so important to visionary, high-impact projects that really help build better communities.

This sort of work environment sets the stage for success—and I’m happy and grateful to play my part.

Contact Aimee Shields, PE, MBA, 321.319.3041, for more information about GAI’s civil engineering services for private and municipal development.

Aimee ShieldsAimee Shields, PE, MBA specializes in civil site design for commercial, municipal, residential, and private projects. Recognized in 2019 as a ENR Southeast Top Young Professional, Aimee’s design work includes grading, drainage, storm sewer systems, stormwater management facilities, sanitary sewers, pump stations, and roadways. Aimee develops construction drawings and specifications, and prepares permit applications for stormwater management facilities, water and sewer line extensions, highway occupancy, and more.

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