Karen Strauss
Karen Strauss
Pavement Design Engineer, Oregon Department of Transportation
Wilsonville, OR
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Biography
I design, or verify the design of all of the pavement for the Oregon Department of Transportation. My staff and I design the pavement thicknesses, materials, and strengths of pavement for new or reconstruction projects in the state. We calculate all kinds of things such as strength, durability, roughness, performance, cracking, and flexibility. I work with a great staff and it's really fun to drive over pavement that I know I designed!
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Education
BS in Civil Engineering, Environmental Emphasis, Northern Arizona University 2001. MC in Technical Communication, Boise State University, 2011.
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
Latest Questions
  • Ram, Oman

    Added Friday, May 30, 2014 at 4:58 AM

    What goals do you have in your career as as civil engineer?
    Answers 1
    Karen Strauss, Oregon Department of Transportation
    Answered Friday, May 30, 2014 at 4:58 AM
    Hi Ram,
    Great question! The biggest goal I had coming out of college was to obtain my PE license. As a civil engineer, getting licensed is a huge part of our ability to function in our job. I’ve needed a license for almost every aspect of the job I’ve ...
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  • Trang, Steilacoom

    Added Monday, November 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I am nineteen years old. I'm in a dilemma right now. I'm considering civil engineering and mechanical engineering. I prefer to be a civil (structural) engineer, but I hear that there are many hardships in the civil field. I'm not strong, so I wonder whether I'll need to work a lot outside or to take care of any heavy things. I don't know what I should do right now. Should I switch to mechanical engineering? Thank you very much.
    Answers 1
    Karen Strauss, Oregon Department of Transportation
    Answered Monday, November 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    Hi Trang,

    My first inclination is always to encourage someone to follow their passion. Your email sounds like you are more inclined towards structural engineering (civil) than mechanical, so that’s likely where you should be.

    Interestingly, ...

    Read More
  • Rebecca, Milwaukee

    Added Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    I'm currently an environmental civil engineering student and I find myself struggling with my core classes such as Physics. Does this mean I may be in the wrong career path? Or are there other careers that I could pursue with this degree?
    Answers 1
    Karen Strauss, Oregon Department of Transportation
    Answered Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:35 AM
    Hello Rebecca, Have no fear! I think a lot of us struggled in Physics courses. I also worried that because I didn’t “get” all of my core classes such as Physics or Statics that I might be in the wrong profession. I had to fight very hard to earn my “c” ...Read More
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