Patricia Galloway President, Principal Owner The Nielsen-Wurster Group, Inc. Princeton, NJ As a professional engineer (PE) and Project Management Professional (PMP), I am the President and Principal Owner of The Nielsen-Wurster Group, Inc., a private international management consulting/dispute resolution firm of approximately 150 employees with offices around the world. My responsibilities include my activities as President, and testifying as an expert witness in project management, project controls and CPM (Critical Path Method) scheduling. I also serve as the "risk manager" on ongoing projects where I assist clients to recognize the potential risks on a project that could result in additional time and money if not carefully monitored. I am also a member of the domestic and international panels of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association. I am chair of the task committee on women in civil engineering for the American Society of Civil Engineers and chair of the international activities commission for the American Association of Engineering Societies. I feel that I have been able to reach the senior management level by getting a solid educational background that includes a masters degree in business, practical work experience, involvement in professional associations, and continuing education and research. I earned my Civil Engineering degree from Purdue University in 1978 (in 3 years!) and was the second woman engineer to be hired by CH2M Hill. My first job assignment was as a tunnel inspector on a deep rock tunnel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was the first woman to serve as a tunnel inspector on this project (a waste water treatment project). The project involved a three shift operation and I was supposed to be the second shift on-site inspector. At the pre-construction meeting with the contractor, the older owner of the company pointed at me and said, "That woman will not be allowed in my tunnel!". My Project Manager just calmly responded that he would gladly award the Project to the next lowest bidder the next day. I was mortified and could not believe that someone would not allow me to work because I was female! My time at CH2M Hill was successful and during that time, I became active in many professional organizations. Toastmasters International helped me develop as a speaker, and the Society of Women Engineers gave me experience in leadership as President of the Section. During this time, I also became the first woman to sit on the National Committee for Construction Management for the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1981, I left CH2M Hill as the Master Program Scheduler for the $1.2 billion Milwaukee Waste Water Treatment Program and went to The Nielsen-Wurster Group in New York as a senior consultant. Nielsen-Wurster offered me the opportunity to demonstrate both my technical and leadership capabilities. I also began traveling and started my career as an expert witness. I continued my education at the at New York Institute of Technology's Executive MBA program. I graduated magna cum laude with an MBA in finance in 1984. With this masters degree I was promoted to Vice President and CFO of Nielsen-Wurster. By the end of the year, I became an owner and have now become the second largest stock holder in the company. I continue to grow in my profession by attending continuing education seminars, authoring and presenting papers all around the world, and continuing my participation in professional organizations. My ability to network has allowed me to gain professional and international recognition. Looking back on how I decided to chose engineering as a career, I have to chuckle and provide encouragement to anyone who thinks that you need to have an engineer in your family, or a technical background while in high school. I had neither! My father died when I was very young and my mother was a school teacher in accounting and typing. My interests were in the arts and literature, concentrating on language, drama, and the debate team. Art was the love of my life and I won several awards for my pencil sketches. I was sure I was going to be either an interpreter for the United Nations or a lawyer! Then I attended a mandatory lecture at my high school on engineering. The professor, from the University of Kentucky, was a structural civil engineer and he brought with him several renderings of buildings. These renderings caught my eye because one of the items that I sketched the most was buildings. The professor added that, as a woman, I would have wonderful opportunities in the engineering field and would command a nice salary. I was sold! I went home and told my mother I wanted to be a civil engineer. It was my mother who most influenced my decision. I always remember what she said to me when I came home that day,. "Well, if that is what you want to do, go for it. You can do anything you want to if you really want it and put your mind to it.". I follow her advice to this day. Unfortunately my math teacher and school advisor did not see it the same way and even my grandmother said "Isn't that a man's job?". I was determined to become the best! The aspects I like most about my job are the opportunity to travel around the world and to work on some of the world's largest and most interesting civil engineering projects. I have been fortunate to work on the Panama Canal, the Xianghli dam in China, and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. My travels have taught me that while the people may look different, and the cultures are vastly different from what we experience here in the United States, civil engineering is the same around the world. Engineers everywhere want to improve the quality of life for everyone. We all recognize the need for sustainable development and protecting our planet. The most challenging aspect of my career is convincing the average male engineer that women can do the work just as well if not better. I discovered that the field engineers welcomed me and, as a result, I learned a lot about construction and getting the job finished on time and on budget. Being in construction, I have realized that men are not going to change overnight. Consequently, women must slowly educate the male population about integrating women into the work force while at the same time demonstrating our abilities. Unfortunately, women often have to succeed by working harder and often for longer hours. My experience shows that when women put in this extra effort, men will except you as an equal or sometimes better. My short term goal professionally is to run for the Presidency of ASCE. I do believe it is time for ASCE to have a woman as President! I would like to serve as a role model to encourage women to strive for society officer positions and to show that women are capable of holding management positions. With respect to my career, my short term goal is to expand and grow our firm making us the leader in what we do internationally. My long term goals professionally are 1) to serve as the role model that young women can look up to and 2) to write a couple of books. One book will describe what I believe it takes to succeed as a woman in the engineering/construction industry. The other will be a book on Emily Roebling and her role in building the Brooklyn Bridge. I have written and produced a one one-woman one act play entitled "So Mrs. Roebling-What's Your Side of the Story?" Every time I present the play I enjoy the comments I receive from the daughters and spouses of the male engineers who say "If only my Dad (Husband) could explain to me what they do in the simple understandable language and story like your play, I would like engineering and listen to him more often." Engineering is about communication and I truly believe that my background in the arts and language has given me good communication skills. Thus, I would like to be able to use these other "non engineering" skills of mine to help encourage women of all ages to become more knowledgeable in the technical fields. I have been fortunate to receive several awards over my career that I am very proud of and of which I became so emotionally overwhelmed, I cried. One of these was the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award given by Purdue University - I was the second woman, and the youngest ever, to receive the award. I have also been fortunate to receive the Engineer of the Year Award, Glamorous' Top Ten Women in Business Award, and Engineering News Record Top Ten Women in Construction. My most recent award is The Professional Women in Construction's Leadership Award. In thinking about what advice I would give to a young girl considering engineering as a career, I can tell you what I am currently telling my 18 year old step daughter: Be confident in yourself - you can do what you want if you put your mind to it. Be involved in professional organizations but take the time for social organizations because these will round out your personality. Take opportunities where you can to write - even for the school newspaper - and find situations where you can make presentations. Writing and lecturing not only builds your confidence but it also helps get you noticed and recognized. Networking is half the battle and it needs to start in high school and continue through college and all through your career.. Always listen first so as to understand the issue or problem and always find an analogy to explain the technical to someone in understandable terms. I think of success as the three "C"s: Confidence, Communication and Commitment. Never give up and never let anyone tell you that you do not have the background or experience I have a wonderful husband, Kris Nielsen, whom I work directly with in my company. I have four step daughters and a wonderful Border Collie dog named Rings who travels with me everywhere I go domestically. You might ask how I can fly everywhere with my dog. Well, I have my own plane! In fact, I am President of a women-owned enterprise called Unionville Aviation. We own two planes that are used mostly for travel with Nielsen-Wurster, as well as charter flights. While we employ a full time pilot, I and my husband are private pilots. In addition, I am also a partner with my husband in a vineyard and winery called "Unionville Vineyards," one of the leading wineries in the East Coast and, according to the New York Times, the best winery in New Jersey. If this wasn't enough, I also am a copartner in a company called "Unionville Ranch" located in Cle Elum, Washington, that specializes in half day and full day trail rides in the Cascade Mountains. You would think that these businesses would keep me out of trouble, however, my other love in life is travel. Although I travel 80-90% of my time in my job, I take my vacations to remote, adventurous parts of the world either horseback riding, trekking and/or scuba diving. Some of my most favorite place on the earth include the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the African Kenyan savannas, and the mountains of Peru-especially Machu Pichu. In the States, I have been horseback riding in the Tetons, and dog sledding in Alaska. I am especially interested in travelling to places where one can see ancient rock art. I have traveled all over the world including Egypt, Australia and Africa, to find this art. My companies each have home pages which have the following addresses: www.nielsen-wurster.com www.unionvillevineyards.com www.uvranch.com
President, The Nielsen-Wurster Group Inc.