first picked up a hammer at age five and has been designing
and building structures and systems ever since. My dad
put an addition on our house when I was five and finished
when I was about ten, and I loved helping him with simple
things like pounding nails, painting, and plastering. I've
developed an interest in a variety of activities like woodworking
and stripping and refinishing furniture, the 30-year-old
civil engineer says.
Mathias wanted a career that gave
back to society and the environment. A love of math, science
and general tinkering led her to the field of engineering.
She was drawn to civil engineering because of the feeling
of giving back to the community and the earth associated
with the concentration. "I saw this discipline as an
opportunity to provide services in promoting environmental
responsibility and assisting in public health technologies,
Mathias and Josh Raub, staff drafts person with Golder,
review how to use a CES-LandTec GEM 2000, which monitors
After graduating from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 with a B.S. degree in civil engineering,
Mathias worked for the City of Madison where she spent her
first year doing computer aided design and drafting for streets
and sewer systems. During the next two years, she worked for
the city's environmental special projects division and took
on senior engineer responsibilities.
Mathias later enrolled in Oregon
State University in pursuit of a masters in civil engineering.
Funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development
Program, a combined effort of federal agencies including the
Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy,
Mathias studied bioremediation technologies.
In 2002, Mathias graduated and
landed a job with Golder Associates Inc., which specializes
in ground and environmental engineering, in the firms
Roseville, Calif. office. Although she has been with Golder
less than a year, Mathias has worked on an array of projects
including analyzing waste in landfills, designing and managing
alternative covers for sewage solids disposal, and monitoring
landfill gas generation and migration and developing landfill
liner performance demonstrations.
This month, Mathias will finish
up work on a Spill Control & Countermeasures Plan and
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan developed for a power
generation facility starting up near Las Vegas. She is also
completing a landfill investigation and geotechnical design
for an abandoned landfill in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Next fall, Mathias will wrap work
on a landfill gas monitoring plan for an elementary school
in Sacramento, Calif. that is believed to be housed on a portion
of a landfill. The work has involved installation and monitoring
of landfill gas probes, data assessment, and reporting to
the regulatory agencies, she says.
In the next two years, Mathias
will continue her work on a California sanitation district
project to design and implement innovative technology for
closing dedicated land disposal units in central California
that have accepted biosolids generated through wastewater
treatment for several decades and have developed very high