September 2023 – Natale Carollo, EIT, ENV SP, M. ASCE

September 2023 – Natale Carollo, EIT, ENV SP, M. ASCE

Natale serves as the ASCE Norfolk Branch President for the 2022 – 2023 term year and currently works with Hazen and Sawyer as a consulting engineer. He began volunteering with ASCE as a student at Virginia Tech as part of the Steel Bridge Design team. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2018 with his B.S. in Civil Engineering, he went on to work full-time in the Hampton Roads area as a Site Civil Engineer. Shortly after starting to work full-time, he joined the ASCE Norfolk Branch as a younger member and continues to volunteer his time to the Norfolk Branch.

As a life-long Hampton Roads native, he finds great joy working with local municipalities to provide solutions for flooding and drainage issues. While early in his career, he finds the work he is doing not only important, but necessary. In his free time, he enjoys playing indoor soccer, being an amateur photographer, and going to the beach.

Engineer of the Month Questionnaire

Question 1. What do you consider your major achievements in civil engineering in our Section area?

One of my goals as the ASCE Norfolk Branch president was to provide a space for younger engineers such as myself to network and get to know each other. As we were coming out of lockdown and the world returned to normal, I recognized that there was a group of college students who were either entering college or just graduating who may not have had a way to build their network like many of us did who worked in the industry prior to 2020. During my time with the Norfolk Branch, I made it a point to be as inclusive as possible to college students and to attend local student chapter meetings to show them a path through which they would be able to find their voice. As my term as Norfolk Branch President is ending, I look back on the years I’ve been involved with ASCE and I am proud to see the progress we’ve made.

Question 2. Why did you decide on a career in civil engineering?

It wasn’t until I was a teenager in high school when I realized I had an interest in math and science classes on top of my love for art. When looking at career opportunities that intersected those three topics, I found two career paths that fit: Civil Engineering and Architecture. Before college applications needed to be submitted, I made a last-minute decision. I found that I wanted to focus more on the problem-solving aspect that engineers do day to day. Luckily, I’m still here in the Civil Engineering industry and have not regretted my choice since.

Question 3. Provide some career guidance for young civil engineers.

The best advice I can give to young engineers – especially aspiring engineers that are finishing up their college career – is to get your EIT while you are still in college. Being able to say that you have the credential puts you above others who don’t have one and shows future employers that you are dedicated and responsible. Speaking from my personal experience, there hasn’t been an engineer I’ve talked to who waited to get their EIT and hadn’t wished they gotten it sooner.

Question 4. What do you consider the major challenge to a career in civil engineering?

While still early in my career, one thing I have noticed about Civil Engineering is the limited perception that people outside the industry have about the scope of the work we do. It is seen as the job where an engineer is there to build roads and bridges. While that is certainly a part of what we do, the scope of Civil Engineering extends to all aspects of infrastructure. Infrastructure Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Environmental Engineering, Stormwater Management, Geotechnical Engineering, drinking water systems, and wastewater treatment facilities are different facets of the industry that need Civil Engineers to design, operate, and maintain. I hope that STEM programs stress the importance of these fields to kids still in school so that current perception begins to change.

Question 5. Tell us about your volunteer activities. What is the motivating factor for volunteering? How has being a volunteer enriched your professional career?

Outside of ASCE volunteer events, I do participate in volunteer events through my company. Recently my company completed a Hunger Heroes foodbank drive where we raised $1,710 for the Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore Foodbank. For me, I know that my work can only get so far with helping communities. I find that volunteer events like a foodbank drive is a great way to give back to those communities that are in more immediate need of help.