Civil Engineer, Everett Taylor
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Name and position

Everett Taylor, Civil Engineer, Utah Division of Water Rights Dam Safety

Everett Taylor
Everett Taylor, Civil Engineer, after performing an outlet inspection in the Uinta Mountains.

What do you do?

I work for the Division of Water Rights Dam Safety Section, interacting with Owners, Engineers, and Contractors to ensure public safety with regard to dams in the state of Utah. I participate in design reviews and travel throughout the state conducting quality assurance inspections on dams being constructed as well as on-site inspections of existing dams. In our arid state, water is hard to come by, so dams have been built all over to capture as much water as possible. Many of these locations are remote and require hiking, horseback riding or OHVs to reach. For someone who thrives on being outside there's no better job!

What kind of education is required for a job like yours?

A bachelor's degree or higher in civil engineering and a professional engineer's license are required to work as an engineer in Dam Safety. My course work included classes in physics, chemistry, hydraulics and soil mechanics. Strong verbal and written communication skills are also needed.

I learned early that you can know a lot and not really understand anything.

What would you suggest to people considering a career in civil engineering?

Actively seek understanding. I learned early that you can know a lot and not really understand anything. For civil engineers it is not sufficient just to have knowledge; with both knowledge and understanding you can tailor a solution to the individual problem rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all answer.

Why did you become a civil engineer?

I love logic puzzles. With civil engineering each project I work on is unique and comes with its own set of problems. I love the challenge of finding the solutions. There is no answer book; sometimes there's no right or wrong answer, only good or better. I also love the satisfaction of creating or repairing something, and civil engineering allows me to do that on projects that benefit the public. Beyond this, civil engineering allows me to interact with people and balance the office with the outdoors. All and all it adds up to a lot of variety, and that is what keeps me coming back. Every day is an adventure!

 

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