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As part of our Member Appreciation Program, we are showcasing a member in our bi-monthly Board Member Spotlight. Our member spotlight recognizes members for their outstanding contributions to the profession and our local communities. For any questions regarding the program please email




Celeste Chan


Civil Analyst
ASCE Orange County Younger Member Forum


Where did you grow up?
Alhambra, CA

What made you want to become an engineer?
As a child, I was always asking “why?”. I loved learning about how things worked. Girl Scouts allowed me to explore STEM through the many workshops I attended and also sparked my passion to give back to my community. This passion ultimately grew to become my career - I chose civil engineering because our work directly impacts our community!

Favorite hobbies, sports, and interests outside of engineering?
In my free time, I love taking pictures, traveling, snowboarding, hanging out with friends and family, eating, and trying new things!

Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings, you can usually find me...
Sleeping in.

What college(s) did you attend? Can you list your degrees, any honors, and involvement in engineering organizations during school?
I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. I was highly involved with ASCE, Kellogg Honors College, and SWE (Society of Women Engineers). I held multiple positions including SWE CPP President, ASCE CPP Outreach and Community Service Chair, SWE VP of External Affairs and SWE Outreach and Community Service Chair.


Describe your responsibilities and some significant projects.
I am a civil analyst working in Development Services. My team and I specialize in improving schools, data centers, small site retail, and EV improvements. I mainly use AutoCAD to create civil onsite construction documents and specialize in the design of water, sewer and storm drain pipe systems. I ensure that all new developments will drain correctly and are ADA compliant.

What project are you currently working on and what have you accomplished/what are your tasks? 
I’m working on a private development of a site that is proposing the demolition of an existing warehouse building and building a larger warehouse in its place. This is the first time I’m taking the reins on a project. I’m proud to say that I accomplished mass grading of an 11 acre site along with tackling client communications, storm water system design, and sewer system design!

What is your favorite part about being a Civil Engineer?
My favorite part about being a civil engineer is that I get to learn about how different components of a site interact with each other. When I visit new places, I’m always noticing things like ADA path of travel, drainage paths, and vaults.

What skills do you find most valuable to focus on in your career?
I think good communication is the most valuable skill I can have as an engineer. Being able to explain things to others effectively and telling others your needs is so important.

What drew you to your specific career path? If you could start your career differently, what would you do differently?
As a child, my parents would take me to different national parks around the country. I fell in love with the beauty of nature and wanted to somehow protect our environment. I tried out environmental engineering through an internship, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. As a civil engineer, I hope to end up working in water resources so I can help preserve the resources we have.


How/Why did you get involved? Why did you choose to stay involved?
I got involved with ASCE when I first started college. I was originally involved with ASCE LA YMF and stayed involved because of all the great opportunities and the vast network ASCE has to offer!

How has ASCE impacted your work and/or what is your favorite benefit of your involvement?
My favorite benefit of ASCE is definitely the people. I’ve met so many talented, motivated, smart individuals that inspire me everyday to be the best version of myself.

Who is someone you Admire and Why?
I admire my mom. She’s a driven, independent, strong woman! I’m always inspired by the way she navigates the challenges in life with grace.

If you have one piece of advice to give to young professionals what would it be?
Take advantage of all the opportunities out there! Don’t be afraid of rejection.

Lastly, what would be your personal motto?
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” - William Feather


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