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Alumna Profile: Krystin Gaydosh Berntsen, BSCE ’05

Current City: Jupiter, Florida

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
The year after graduation, I began my career as a civil engineer with Miller Legg, a consulting firm that brings together different elements of engineering, and started my graduate studies.

What do you do for a living now? What does a typical work week look like for you?
I am the director of engineering for Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department.  I oversee all aspects of engineering for the department including plan review, construction services, water distribution and collection system pipelines, and the county’s five water treatment plants and three wastewater treatment facilities. I am responsible for the implementation of a five-year $400-million-dollar Capital Improvement Program, as well as the department’s long-range planning of capital improvements, design, facility planning and consultant selection.  A typical work week varies from contract negotiations, approval of invoices, program management, interaction with the public and consultants, reviewing agreements and contracts as well as various meetings.

In what ways did your CoE experience have an impact on your career and who you are today?
My experience at the College of Engineering (CoE) developed my critical thinking skills, which I have applied throughout my career.  I liked the small classroom environment where I was able to meet and collaborate with students from all over the world and receive individualized support and guidance from my professors.

Describe your most memorable moment as a student at the College of Engineering (CoE).
My most memorable moment was the day I graduated with honors; it was the culmination of all my hard work and support from my family.

What motivated you to support the College of Engineering?
Being a recipient of scholarships allowed me to attend the University of Miami.  I feel it is important to give back to the CoE so future students have the same opportunity to attend the University of Miami and earn their degree.

What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
My advice is to join the student professional organizations.  They offer the opportunity to interact with various engineering disciplines, give back to the community, develop leadership skills, and provide networking opportunities which can lead to internships and job opportunities.

How would you describe the College of Engineering in seven words or less?
Laying the foundation for a successful career!

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