Katlyn Shergalis has worked with bridges since she graduated from Trine University in 2010, but her focus has changed over time.
The civil engineering graduate first served as a bridge engineer with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
“At the time I really wanted to go back to school and study for a PhD, but I was not sure what research I was most interested in,” she said. “After two years with INDOT I changed my focus and joined a consulting firm in the Indianapolis area.”
Her work at the consulting firm sparked an interest in how the organization operated, and she entered business school.
“Business school was a great decision,” she said. “It has provided me a lot of good insights into managing and understanding the principles of running an organization.”
Today Katlyn leads the Indianapolis bridge team at Lochmueller Group, an Indiana-based consulting firm that emphasizes planning and designing state and local infrastructure improvements. Her duties include project management, business development and managing the company’s bridge design engineers.
“Most of my time is spent reviewing projects designed by one of our engineers,” she said. “This includes checking plans and specifications for conformance with contract requirements and coordinating design parameters with other disciplines, such as roadway, environmental, right of way and utilities. My remaining time is spent on business development. This includes helping develop proposals for design work and meeting with potential clients.
“Somewhat unsurprisingly, not much of my time is spent actually designing a bridge.”
Katlyn’s interest in civil engineering began in high school, where, she said, “I thought I wanted to be an architect but realized I wasn’t creative enough.”
"Beyond just teaching theory, Trine really emphasized the importance of ‘practical’ engineering and making solid engineering decisions."- Katlyn Shergalis
At Trine, she found both an excellent civil engineering program and the opportunity to play collegiate golf. She said her education at Trine gave her the tools she needed to succeed in her career.
“The program at Trine places a lot of focus on graduating engineers with a solid foundation and practical understanding of engineering concepts,” Kaitlyn said. “Beyond just teaching theory, Trine really emphasized the importance of ‘practical’ engineering and making solid engineering decisions.
“ ‘Engineering judgement’ is a phrase you hear a lot in class, and it becomes much more relevant when you have to make decisions on real-life projects. Not everything is black and white, and you need to be equipped to make practical, tough decisions.”
She also appreciated Trine’s emphasis on communication skills.
“The ability to tell someone why a decision was made is immensely valuable,” she said. “I believe these areas of emphasis put me in a better position to succeed at my career, and they are now traits I look for when interviewing candidates.”