Reflections From a TREKK Intern

    Isabelle Frankel, a rising junior at Kansas State University, was one of two TREKK interns this summer. Here, Isabelle reflects on her internship and the skills she’s gained over the past three months.  After three months of interning at TREKK’s Kansas City office, I can now look back at how I spent my summer and reflect on the many valuable skills I’ve gained. I’m about to start my junior year at K-State, studying civil engineering. At the beginning of the summer I joined the transportation team, looking to learn about roadway design and how business operates at an engineering firm. Along with this knowledge, I also found great mentors and role models. When I started here, I was welcomed and began learning design skills on MicroStation. I remember being shocked at how much I was able to learn so quickly. This was largely due to the helpful guidance from others. The people here focused on giving me work that would challenge me and give me insight that will be important in my future. I’m also glad I was thrown right into the work and, therefore, was able to figure things out through trial and error. I found the best way to complete tasks and explore different possible solutions. I was able to learn things more deeply and retain the information. TREKK also did multiple learning seminars for our team that showed me how much this company cares about expanding their employee’s knowledge. Something that is difficult to teach in a lecture hall is the inner workings of a design team. While I was here, I felt very...

Stories from the Sewer

Stories from the Sewer TREKK Design Group provides many different services such as transportation design, construction inspection, survey, asset management, and GIS.  Another large segment of our services falls within the corner that I work within: TREKK’s water and wastewater department. Over the years, a number of off the cuff stories have been shared about the sewer business. Here’s a compilation of a few memorable ones that individuals at TREKK have experienced.  Enjoy! _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Fun things happen to us all the time, man.  The stories, they come from all over the place.” -Robby Hartpence, Field Manager   Ballpark Village – Meet This Community St. Louis, Missouri is known for having a growing large sewer system.  TREKK has inspected some very large sewers in many different cities, but never one quite as inviting as in St. Louis, MO: “We did a sewer walk a few years ago downtown.  It was this real large underground tunnel, almost felt like a subway system or something.  We were taking some measurements and doing a general assessment of what all was down there, where the sewer was located, and came across a portion where the street was starting to cave-in.  Well, we also came across some kind of homeless village.  Sofas and tents all over the place, there were little huts burrowed in the walls with plywood, tarps, and all.  There were a couple hundred people – it was like a community down there.” -Ron Thomann, Project Manager   “That was a crazy experience.  Seeing all of those people come out of nowhere.  There were tents and tarps and they had a seating area...
It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

It is rewarding, but it sometimes can be difficult to accept what IMPROVING LIVES means.  Last Monday, May 8th, Courtney walked into my office and told me the news that she was leaving to take a job with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The best word I can use to describe how I felt is heartbreak.  Many of you may not know, but Courtney is like a daughter to me.  I met her at my first job out of college.  I was working for the Missouri Department of Transportation as a Highway Designer.  Courtney’s mom, Amy Nash (Barry’s wife) was one of my first mentors.  Amy was a brilliant mentor without really ever trying to be.  She helped me to learn to think for myself, design with common sense and listen to my instincts.  She was one of the first in my professional career to help me understand the importance of IMPROVING LIVES.   Looking back, I realize that I was one of Amy’s first work “sons.”  Courtney was raised by parents that always wanted see people do their best. When we met, Courtney was around the age of 5, so Kim and I have known her practically all her life.  We have gotten the opportunity to watch her grow from a young girl into a brilliant engineer.  Courtney has been one of our favorite examples of the value of internship program at TREKK.  She worked her way through survey, design, and construction inspection.  She benefited from seeing all the aspects of a project.  The opportunity to see our projects from multiple perspectives has helped her hone her design...