Grad Guide: Olivia Ferrell

Civil engineering major Olivia Ferrell spent her time at CSU both gaining experience and encouraging others in her field.

Ferrell promoted women in the sciences as a member and then president of CSU’s Society of Women Engineers. She also worked as an Engineering Success Center student assistant, helping other students prepare for graduation while also becoming more prepared herself.


After graduation Ferrell plans to use her degree, experience and leadership skills while working for Atkins Global as a transportation engineer and urban planner.

“I’ve always wanted to do transportation and urban planning — I just really like how it changes the way cities work together and interact,” Ferrell said. “Atkins really fits. They’re exactly what I imagined doing upon graduation.”

As last year’s Society of Women Engineers President, Ferrell said she worked to encourage both women in the field and young girls considering pursuing engineering.

“We really try to promote professional development for our students and try to help them get jobs… our other focus is doing outreach, so trying to get young girls to have an interest in engineering, because right now, they are only 20 percent of the (engineering) workforce,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell said her work with the Engineering Success Center — the College of Engineering’s version of the Career Center — as one of her most influential and beneficial CSU experiences.

At Atkins Global, Ferrell will be working on a wide variety of plans for future transportation — anything from roads to trails. She will be creating models and predicting the needs of various transportation departments.

Ferrell said that CSU prepared her by giving her opportunities to problem-solve and learn certain skills necessary to engineering.

“(CSU has provided me with) the critical thinking skills that are required to be an engineer,” Ferrell said. “My leadership position (at SWE) has really prepared me for solving problems and putting out fires and things like that.”

Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at