Civiltec’s Monrovia office has a new Project Engineer in Gretel Ochoa-Nhac, promoted upon the successful completion of her Professional Engineer’s (PE) exam. With a Master of Science in Civil Engineering focused in transportation and traffic engineering under her belt, Ochoa-Nhac took the PE exam and passed in September 2020. 

Ochoa-Nhac followed a demanding study schedule in the years and months leading up to the PE exam while balancing family life. “Thankfully, I have a great support system,” she said. “My husband took on more of the responsibilities at home to make sure I could focus on studying, since doing that at home with a four-year-old was a little hectic at times!” Participating in study groups and online courses helped her master the concepts.

In her new role as Project Engineer, Ochoa-Nhac is working on various projects for Civiltec’s Monrovia, California branch including several water master plans. She will soon begin design for a temporary pressure reducing station for Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency. “I enjoy working with master plans because I get to communicate more with the client, and get to have that relationship with the engineers and operators in the field,” commented Ochoa-Nhac. 

In addition to her Civiltec work, Ochoa-Nhac is an active volunteer and mentor for young professionals in the engineering field. “I talked to David Song (Civiltec Principal) a handful of times about my desire to reach out to future engineers. He recommended I reach out to my old community college and join more clubs,” said Ochoa-Nhac. Now part of the Engineering and Tech Department at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) along with the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Outreach Committee, she is able to give back to the engineering community. “Mentorship is critical for anyone who wants to grow in their career.”

“Gretel has been with Civiltec for over six years, and I couldn’t be more proud to see her take this next step in her career,” said Civiltec President W. David Byrum. “I commend her hard work and dedication, and look forward to seeing her thrive in a leadership role.”

Civiltec continues to expand its team and hire project engineers in California and Arizona. Ochoa-Nhac’s promotion is important for the growth of Civiltec, which places a high value on continuing career development for employees.