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Employment Features: Bridge Design Academy - Rotation Program - Construction Experience Available - Seismic Design - Who are we? - Do we just work?

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rick land photo

richard_land@dot.ca.gov

Rick graduated from California Sacramento State University in 1978 and immediately came to work for Caltrans. After going through the Caltrans Rotation Program, where he was able to get some experience in highway design, hydraulics, highway construction, and bridge design, Rick settled into Structure Design. After several years in Structure Design, a few years in Structure Construction, a couple brief stints in Structure Specifications and Computer Support, Rick is now one of the four Bridge Design Supervisors in the Division of Structure Design. What does Rick like best about working for Caltrans: the people, the variety, and the challenge. "I'm always impressed with the people that I work with every day. I find the people at all levels and in every classification very friendly, interesting, professional, and a delight to work with. The work itself is always challenging and full of variety. I continue to learn something new every day."
Sue graduated from Purdue University in the early 1980's. After almost four years at a consulting firm and three years away from design, Sue came to California and Caltrans because of her grad work in seismic analysis of bridges. She did design work for a $24M seismic retrofit job in San Francisco, developed the criteria and details for the steel portion of the viaduct, and assumed project engineer responsibilities for one-third of the job. Now, she's Technical Specialist for LRFD methodology and implementation of the new AAASHTO LRFD Spec. "I thrive on variety in a big organization. We're big enough to have engineers specialize in one area and keep abreast of issues related to their specialty on a national level. One hour I'm teaching, the next I'm reading a research report or discussing it with the author, and another I'm designing a bridge in LRFD."

sue hilda photo

susan_hida@dot.ca.gov

tom ostrom photo

tom_ostrom@dot.ca.gov

Tom did his undergraduate work at UC San Diego and his graduate work at UC Berkeley. He studied under several of the preeminent researchers in bridge earthquake engineering, including Nigel Priestely and Frieder Seible who continue to have a significant role in the Caltrans Seismic research program. "It's exciting to be on the cutting edge for seismic design of bridges, and have have direct access to the researchers who are developing the state of the art in bridge earthquake engineering." After five years as a designer and five years as a contract manager, Tom returned to Design to supervise a design squad. Tom spent two years leading a team of senior bridge engineers in developing the Caltrans Seismic Design Criteria. Tom's favorite thing about working for Caltrans "No where else in the world do you have an opportunity to work along side over 300 bridge designers who are developing innovative solutions to real world problems and putting them into practice. It is a very exciting place to work.
Surjit was born in India and graduated from Waterloo University in 1990. After hiring into the Caltrans District Office in Oakland, and transferring to the Office of Earthquake Engineering, Surjit left for a bridge consulting office in the Sacramento area. After six years and many good projects, the possibility of transferring to the company's New York office loomed. Instead, Surjit came back to the Caltrans Division of Maintenance and latter transferred to the Structure Design. "The Caltrans pay was not noticeably different than that of the consultant," he adds. His project work includes a slab bridge over a canal, lead-rubber isolators for an approach bridge to the Benecia Martinez toll bridge, and an urban interchange in San Diego. Field trips? Of course! Now, Surjit is preparing to teach the seismic portion of the Bridge Design Academy. His favorite aspect of working at Caltrans? "Being able to work in different areas and not get pigeon-holed, IF you apply yourself", he points out.

surjit's photo

surjit_dhillon@dot.ca.gov

updated: March 13, 2001