Meet Kathryn Serra, P.E., Project Engineer for C.T. Male Associates Civil Engineering Division
Ms. Serra is a NYS Licensed Professional Engineer who has been a member of the C.T. Male Associates Civil Engineering team for 13 years. She is also a member of several engineering organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, New York Water Environment Association, and the American Water Works Association. She believes that her active memberships in these important organizations allow her to stay up to date on trends and regulations while playing a part in improving an industry she is so passionate about.
Kathryn’s passion for engineering started in high school. Based on her aptitude for math and science she was guided in the direction of engineering, which fostered a passion for civil engineering in particular. Unlike the stigma of engineering being a “boring career where you sit behind the desk,” Kathryn found the world of civil engineering to be a challenging and interesting mix of office work and field work. What she loves most about civil engineering is that she gets to collaborate with a variety of people to complete projects that directly impacts the life of a lot of people in a positive way.
This passion for civil engineering led Ms. Serra to obtain a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University and a Masters in Civil Engineering from RPI. She was also a mentor of a middle school engineering program called Future Cities for 8 years. In this program she worked with the female students at the Academy of Holy Names in Albany, NY to introduce them to the world of engineering. She enjoyed not only showing students that engineering was a fun and rewarding career choice, but also encouraging the students she mentored to pursue a career they were passionate about.
At C.T. Male Associates, a “normal day” for Kathryn doesn’t really exist. Each day brings unique projects and challenges that require her attention. On any given day she can be found working with CAD drafters on design plans, writing detailed technical specifications for a project, meeting with clients, collaborating with other engineers, coordinating construction work with contractors, conducting site visits, or orchestrating the necessary behind the scene paper work that has to be completed prior to the start of any new construction project.
One of her favorite parts about working for C.T. Male Associates is the longevity of the company and its employees. Most employees have been working for C.T. Male Associates for 15 or even 30 years. That kind of career longevity allows employees to draw on years of wisdom working on various projects, often times for the same clients. For example, one municipal client utilized C.T. Male Associates’ civil engineering services to repair existing infrastructures, 20 years later they were able to start a new project with the same project manager. This distinction has benefited customers and is one of the main reasons why C.T. Male Associates has earned such long-standing relationships with their clients.
One such client is the Town of Ballston. Kathryn has been working as the town’s designated engineer for 12 years reviewing the residential, commercial, and industrial projects that come before the Planning Board. When reviewing new development applications for the town, Ms. Serra has to ensure that what is being proposed is in compliance with Town zoning and aligns with the Town’s goals. Kathryn’s long-standing relationship with the town has allowed her to see Ballston grow from a rural town into one of the busiest (in terms of new development) communities in the area. Seeing this impact has been extremely rewarding for Kathryn as an engineer.
Another interesting project that Ms. Serra was a part of was in the Town of Windham. During Tropical Storm Irene, the Town was flooded. The storm also resulted in damage to three flood control reservoirs, to the point where there was a concern that the dams would fail and send even more amounts of water into an already flooded town. The C.T. Male Associates team made an emergency response trip during the storm to inspect the dams due to this concern. Based on their findings C.T. Male Associates designed repairs for the three dams to prevent future issues during storms. For Kathryn, this project was particularly interesting because it is rare for engineers in this area to respond to an emergency situation due to a natural disaster. To be able to be part of a team in an emergency response situation and ensure the safety of the public was definitely a highlight of her career.
Kathryn sums up her job by saying, “A lot of what we do is protecting the public, whether it is making sure their drinking water is clean or making sure the bridges and dams are safe around them. C.T. Male Associates is a great company to work for, we have a client-driven focus emphasizing quality. We are known for having a great level of detailed engineering plans and are very knowledgeable, and we pride ourselves on that. When I am putting a design out the door I want it to be the best…and I am very proud to work for a company that feels the same.”
Do you have an upcoming engineering project? Experience the C.T. Male Associates difference! Contact us at (518) 786-7400 or fill out the form below to schedule a consult with an experienced civil engineering professional.