Today we celebrate the national Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day movement that is all about encouraging girls to consider careers in engineering. If you or anyone you know is interested in engineering, have a conversation today to build understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. Engineers change and improve our world. Watch the video and share this message with friends and family: https://youtu.be/18AjMKN-RLM

Meet our MnDOT women engineers!

Gwen Mei, Assistant State Geometrics Engineer

Years at MnDOT: 7.5 years

Hometown: Taishan, Guangdong, China

Briefly explain your job: Over the past 3 years, I have served as the Assistant State Geometrics Engineer in MnDOT’s Geometric Design Support Unit. Our team serves as customer service representatives for project managers and designers across the state specific to Geometric Design. One of my current roles is that I serve as the Project Manager for a multi-state partnership agreement working to develop a Web-Based Video Training Series on Geometric Design. In addition, my role as the Assistant Geometrics Engineer includes the oversight of current design policies and the review & approval of geometric layouts.

What is the best part? The best part of my job is that I am involved in a wide variety of roadway projects that span across the entire state ranging from Restricted Crossing U-turns to Roundabouts to Diverging Diamond Interchanges to Single Point Urban Interchanges.

Most memorable project and why? My most memorable project is one that is still on-going. I am currently managing a multi-state partnership agreement working to develop a Web-Based Video Training Series. The original series was developed more than two decades ago with MnDOT peers as cast members. This is an extremely challenging project as I am in charge of funding solicitation, developing the request for proposal, and selecting & negotiating with the project consultant. I cannot wait for this project to come to fruition.

Fun fact about you?  MnDOT is nationally recognized for its innovation in all aspects of roadway design. MnDOT’s Restricted Crossing U-turns (RCUT) design has proven to be the most effective safety countermeasure ever implemented by the Agency. In fact, I was recently invited to present MnDOT’s RCUT design at the 63rd Alabama Transportation Conference.

Nicole Bartelt, Bridge Planning and Hydraulic Engineer

Type:Civil Engineer (a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering)

Years at MnDOT: 14

Hometown:River Falls, WI

Briefly explain your job: I manage the Planning and Preliminary section at the Bridge Office. I help program the bridge work that MnDOT does around the state. My section does a wide variety a work, from preliminary bridge design to flood monitoring.

What is the best part? The best part of my job is getting to work with people across the state, and to work on projects that people drive across every day! And my day is never the same, always a different issue or problem to deal with each day.

Most memorable project and why? The Highway 101 Flood Mitigation project, which was a partnership project between MnDOT, Carver County, Scott County, Shakopee, and Chanhassen. It was a really cool project that everyone came together to get another crossing over the Minnesota River that stayed above most flooding levels (above the 100-year). I liked it because I was the project manager for MnDOT, and got to work with many different people and agencies, and see all parts of the project.

Fun fact about you? Math was NOT my favorite subject in school. But I loved solving problems, and I knew that math was important to be able to do that. So don’t think that you won’t like engineering if you don’t love math!

Melissa Barnes, Metro District North Area Manager

Melissa has a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a consultant in traffic engineering after graduating. She came to the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 2012 as the state Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Engineer and now works as an Area Manager. She loves working in the public sector and having a positive impact on the people and communities in the state. She is married with three sons who are 9, 7, and 5 years old.

Rashmi Brewer, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)/Connected & Automated Vehicles (CAV-X) Project Manager

Rashmi earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota. During her college years, she worked as a student intern for the New York State Thruway Authority and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Following graduation, she worked as an engineer for a consultant in preliminary and final design. Next, Rashmi joined the Graduate Engineer Rotation Program at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Throughout her years at MnDOT, she has gained valuable work experience in railroad safety, traffic, construction, metro trunk highway/rail construction, intelligent transportation systems and connected & automated vehicles.  Currently, Rashmi is an ITS/CAV-X Project Manager working on research, development and deployment projects to advance transportation while enhancing safety, mobility and efficiency in Minnesota. She is passionate about her work to create innovative solutions to promote traffic safety for all.  Rashmi is happily married and enjoys family togetherness with their teenage daughter and son.

Thanks for your hard work!