Deborah Suazo-Davila

Deborah Suazo-Davila

Civil Engineer
US Army Corp of Engineers
Deborah Suazo-Davila
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My name is Deborah Suazo-Davila. Yes, I have two last names because I'm Hispanic which means I speak Spanish + English. Also, I'm a Civil Engineer working for the US Army Corp of Engineers. Part of my expertise is maintenance and repair of bridges in addition to being certified as a bridge inspector. I went to engineering school because, since I was a little girl, I had all kinds of questions, and I was fascinated with buildings and how they get built. I still love math and things that involve numbers, but most of all I LOVE BEING a GIRL!!! Being a female engineer has opened doors for me! I want to help other girls to get thru those doors too.

Answers by Deborah Suazo-Davila

Let me congratulate you for you decision!!! Excellent choice! Question: Will this be a undergrad degree or graduate degree?
If its a undergrad degree (Bachelors degree)your first 2 yrs wont be a problem to work and study but the last two are very heavy and time demanding.
If its a graduate degree (Masters Degree) its a bit more relaxing bc of the nature of the programs. Most schools know that their students are already professionals and the programs are flexible. Professors adapt more to the student than what its for the undergrad level where the student have to adapt to the professor.

Hi Ikram, 
Not you are not expected to know computer programming. Yes you are expected to know how to used a computer, browse the internet and use Microsoft Office. In school they will teach you how to program. But if you like, you can take a summer course to learn programming on your 1st yr if College.

For someone to be a successful professional (any area) needs: excellent communication and writing skills.
In engineering you do all kind of writing: memos, emails, spreadsheets, "white papers", project proposals, reports, technical reports, power point presentations, etc.

Writing is part of the job. Not as much as a office assistant but nowadays with emails, you are writing constantly.

The writing skills is that photo someone have of your professional self. Lets put this way, if your resume is poorly written, You are Not getting an interview.

Yes you get people who review your reports and documents before you send them.

If your want to be successful and grow in your career, you have to have it

Hi Vanessa:
I will suggest for you to take Advance Algebra, Pre-Calculus and Intro to Calculus. If you could, get all the advance sciences. Why do I tell you this... because in Engineering School you will need a good strong MATH and SCIENCE foundation. In my opinion, YES you need to be excellent in math and sciences. Engineering revolves around Math and Sciences but that doesn't mean that if you don't do well in Biology you are done. I will say that Good grades in Physics and Chemistry can take you right into Engineering School. Definitely Good grades in MATH because you will be dealing with numbers all your school's year and career.

TI-89 is excellent! I still have my TI-89 Titanium (graduated on 2009) and that was the latest greatest. You need to ask your professors and also, remember you need to learn how to used it. So, don't go to advanced or complicated that it will be a problems to used it

Hi Courtney!
My name is Deborah and Im a Civil Engineer. First, let me congratulate you for you excellent decision on considering engineering as your future career. Its GREAT!!
Also I want to explain certain things that often are misunderstood...
Engineers do so much more than just inventions. Actually most of us DONT invent anything in our whole career. This concept is totally misleading students. 

Engineering by definition is the mechanical art or science of making practical application of the knowledge of pure science as physics or chemistry in the construction of real world applications.

Now my definition as an engineer, Engineers are trained by formal education (college)into Problem Solving mindset. Problem Solving includes: there is nothing there to deal with a problem, let's invent the solution, there is something already created, lets optimized that or lets update it. There is a way of doing things, how can we do it better with the technology and capabilities that we have.

There are several engineering fields that you can take... BUT you don't have to decide right away what are you will like. 
1- Civil Engineering = you will be trained to understand how things will not move. Areas like design, understand structural design, structural capacity, mechanics of materials, construction management,ect.

2- Mechanical Engineering = you will be trained to understand how things CAN move. 

3- Electrical Engineering = you will be trained to understand how energy is created. All sources of energy: water, wind, heat, nuclear, hydraulic,etc. How to generate, transmit and distribute that energy.

4- Computer Engineering = you will be trained to understand how the computerized systems work. Which means, you will learn from the hardware to the virtual aspect of the system. Learn programming, networking, etc.

5- Industrial Engineering = you will be trained to understand process. Processes of how to do things, how to produce things, how to implement things, how to obtain optimal results with less money and simpler process. 

6- Chemical Engineering you be trained to understand chemical process that will optimized better results. How to create chemical procedures to optimized what its already there. 
So much more... I will recommend you 2 things:
a- Look for a Summer camp in Pre-Engineering (in your State College)
b- Look online for a good description of each engineering areas
c- GO FOR IT!!! 

You have what it takes to be an engineer!!! 

If you have any more questions, please dont hesitate in contacting me.

Eng. Deborah Suazo