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UA Civil Engineering Alumni at Helm of ASCE

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Group Tour at Geneva Polymer
City of Las Vegas engineering program manager Kristina Swallow tours the Geneva Polymer manhole plant.

UA Civil Engineering Alumni at Helm of ASCE

June 23, 2016
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With Mark Woodson 2016 president and Kristina Swallow 2017 president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the University's civil engineering program is playing a greater part in advancing the profession.

The University of Arizona department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics is celebrating the election of alumna Kristina Swallow as 2017 president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers, close on the heels of 2016 president Mark Woodson.

Mark Woodson, 2016 ASCE President

Woodson, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in business administration from the UA in 1979 and 1985, respectively, is president and owner of Flagstaff, Arizona-based Woodson Engineering & Surveying.

He will be succeeded by 2017 ASCE president Norma Jean Mattei, a graduate of Tulane University, at the ASCE Convention in Portland, Oregon, on September 30. At that time Swallow will become president-elect of ASCE, the nation’s oldest professional organization for civil engineers with 150,000 members in 177 countries. She will serve as president for 2018.

ASCE leaders are elected for three-year terms as president-elect, president and past president, guiding the organization and serving on its board throughout their terms.

Swallow, who received her UA bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1994, will be the fourth woman elected president of the ASCE since its founding in 1852 and the first to succeed another woman in the position.

“When I graduated from the UA, there were only a handful of women in the civil engineering program,” she said. “Today, women are leading many ASCE student chapters. Diversity in our profession -- not just in terms of gender, but in all respects -- is essential for civil engineers to do what we do best: Build a better quality of life for everyone.”

Soaring Career

After college, Swallow spent 15 years in the private sector, working mostly in land development at several companies, including her own. In 2009 she joined the public sector to become transportation policy lead for Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., in Washington, D.C., where she worked on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, MAP-21, among other bills.

Kristina Swallow, 2017 ASCE president-elect

In 2012 she joined a team of engineers responsible for delivering public works projects and planning the sanitary sewer collection system for the city of Las Vegas. 

Swallow has been active in the ASCE for the duration of her career. She is a former director of Region 8, encompassing nine Western states including Nevada and Arizona, a governor on the ASCE Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute and serves on the ASCE Transportation Policy Committee.

She has earned top awards from the ASCE and from both of her alma maters. The UA department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics presented her with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2005, and in 2013 she was named Alumna of the Year by the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she earned her master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in 2004.

Family Tradition

Swallow and Woodson have close relatives who also graduated from the UA civil engineering program and plan to join family and friends at the department’s Homecoming celebrations in October. 

Swallow’s father, Edwin J. Konrath Jr., a consultant and former senior engineer at Hughes Aircraft, earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the UA in 1967, 1968 and 1980. Woodson’ eldest son, John Woodson, a structural engineer at M3 Engineering & Technology Corp., received UA bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering in 2003 and 2008.