Portland District People: Michelle Rhodes, Civil Engineer, Engineering and Construction Division

 

(Left to right) Rod Moritz, hydraulic engineer, Michelle Rhodes, civil engineer, and Richard Gunsolus, geologist, stand near the Tillamook north jetty revetment. They are part of the team working to rehabilitate the jetty system at the Mouth of the Columbia River. The three jetties are designed to minimize navigation channel maintenance and provide safe transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River. (Corps of Engineers photo)

(Left to right) Rod Moritz, hydraulic engineer, Michelle Rhodes, civil engineer, and Richard Gunsolus, geologist, stand near the Tillamook north jetty revetment. They are part of the team working to rehabilitate the jetty system at the Mouth of the Columbia River. The three jetties are designed to minimize navigation channel maintenance and provide safe transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River. (Corps of Engineers photo)

 

Michelle Rhodes, Civil Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District

Michelle Rhodes, Civil Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District

Michelle Rhodes is the technical lead on projects ranging from jetty repair to environmental restoration. Some of her projects include the Tillamook North Jetty repair in 2009, the Sandy River Delta Dam removal in 2013 and the current major rehabilitation of the jetty system at the Mouth of the Columbia River.

Describe your job. I am a project technical lead which means I work with many disciplines to coordinate legal actions such as permits and real estate.  I help design a product, prepare and award a contract and see the project through construction. I love organizing and coordinating, so being a technical lead is fun for me.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?  It’s really rewarding to see construction on a project I helped design.

Michelle Rhodes says her father's support, encouragement and patience gave her the skills she needed to become an engineer. (Photo provided by Michelle Rhodes, Engineering and Construction Division)

Michelle Rhodes says her father’s support, encouragement and patience gave her the skills she needed to become an engineer. (Photo provided by Michelle Rhodes, Engineering and Construction Division)

What are some of the challenges you encounter? Each team is comprised of many disciplines and my job is to ensure the team members communicate effectively and work together to meet project deadlines. It can be very tricky at times.

What do you like most about working for the Portland District? I love civil works and I love that this District keeps a lot of work in-house. I feel like I can put my touch on a project.

What was your first job? My first job was at Mrs. Field’s cookies. Thank goodness I ran high school track at the same time!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? I went skydiving for my 30th birthday. That was crazy-awesome!

Who inspires you? My dad inspires me. We think alike and he has always shared his wisdom with me. I could never have become who I am today without his support, insight and love.

Tags: