As a recent addition to CP&Y’s Bryan, Texas office, Rachel Gaddis, EIT is an emerging leader, who is already making a statewide impact in her industry.
She first became involved with CP&Y as an intern and, after graduating from LeTourneau University in 2018 and earning her Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a Civil Engineering Concentration, Rachel became an official CP&Y employee-owner in May 2018.
Rachel’s involvement with industry organizations in her area combined with her client-focused project experience is already making a positive impact on her engineering community.
Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT): Branch Representative
After attending her first WEAT Municipal Resource Recovery Design Committee (MRRDC) meeting in April 2018, Rachel gained membership and steadily grew interested in a more proactive role. After reaching out to Lindsay Webb, PE, former MRRDC Secretary and CP&Y Austin Water Group leader, Rachel developed the idea for a new role within the organization.
“I volunteered to create the Welcome Team,” Rachel said. “I created a ‘Welcome Letter’ in which we discuss the mission and vision of MRRDC and summarize the various subcommittees’ roles and what they are each looking for in volunteers. That evolved into me taking over the Communications & Outreach Sub-Committee, so that the previous chair could shift into a new chair position.”
In addition to serving on the MRRDC, Rachel now serves as WEAT’s Bryan/College Station Branch Representative. She is tasked with creating a sustainable method for branch development in other Texas communities (like Brazos Valley) that are currently lacking WEAT involvement.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Northeast Texas (NET): President
Rachel’s involvement with the student chapter of ASCE at LeTourneau University eventually brought her into contact with LeTourneau alumnus and ASCE Student Chapter Practitioner Advisor, David Stanley, PE at CP&Y, which led to her internship. Upon joining CP&Y full-time after graduation, Rachel received encouragement from David to serve as Secretary/Treasurer, a position that ultimately led Rachel to also filling the positions of Vice President and President. David and Terry Winn, PE, Vice President/Associate at CP&Y, helped guide Rachel in her new responsibilities.
“It was a true blessing that David and Terry both previously served in ASCE NET leadership roles,” Rachel said, “because they were able to give me direction and explain what had been done in the past.”
Since moving to College Station, Rachel began serving remotely as President while directing the new Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President.
“My role now,” said Rachel, “is to serve the Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President in accomplishing their tasks, leading and directing them in hosting branch events, and overseeing various initiatives for increasing membership and engaging students in East Texas in the Civil Engineering field.”
Besides her already significant leadership roles with WEAT and ASCE, Rachel has volunteered on occasion for Habitat for Humanity in Gregg and Rockwall Counties with hopes to be more involved in Brazos Valley region as well.
Rachel is featured standing to the far right with other ASCE NET officers, including Vice President Gail H. Lewis (front center) with GeoConsultants in Hallsville, Texas and Secretary/Treasurer Daniel Story (far left) with Holland Engineering, LLC in Lindale, Texas. Standing behind is ASCE Region 6 Governor Sanford LaHue, Jr., PE with Schrickel, Rollins and Associates.
Expertise: Hydrologic & Hydraulic Analysis and Client Relations
Specializing in the hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) analysis of dams, Rachel’s CP&Y project experience includes hydrologic and hydraulic analysis for local high-hazard dams, breach analysis for large dams, wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) improvements, drainage calculations for legal disputes, water reuse design, water rights permitting, hydraulic adequacy analysis of bridges, drafting residential street plans, and developing traffic control plans.
“In our East Texas offices,” Rachel explained, “I am known as the ‘Lake Lady’ because I have specialized in H&H analysis of dams.”
Although Rachel’s expert knowledge has earned her a moniker, working in one of CP&Y’s smaller offices allows engineers to also “generalize and get experience in every area and stage of engineering,” as Rachel puts it. Exposure to all phases in the life of a project introduced a new passion into Rachel’s career.
“I really enjoy the business development and client relations side of our business because I love people and enjoy explaining the complexity of what we do in terms that anyone can understand.”
“Any project that involves getting outside or requires a lot of communication and involvement of the client gets me excited,” Rachel continued. “That is what I love about dams. You have to get out in the field and the high-profile nature of the projects require a large amount of client involvement. I enjoy general engineering work that allows me to follow a project from preliminary design all the way through construction administration.”
Project Experience Highlights Include:
Conducting H&H analysis to size the proposed dam and outfall structures for a 16,000-acre-foot reservoir in Canton, Texas.
Developing dam improvements after conducting H&H analysis of existing structures of the Emerald Lake Dam in Dallas, Texas to achieve compliance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements.
Assisting in the design and production for a 10-phase traffic control plan in the high-traffic downtown area of Waco, Texas.
Providing documentation for quantity calculations required for estimate of joint sealant for a 500,000-square-foot, concrete spillway for Lake Cherokee, Texas.
What the Future Holds
With plans to take the Principals and Practice of Engineering Examination in April 2020, Rachel hopes to enroll in online courses in Fall 2020 to pursue her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and eventually apply for her Professional Engineer (PE) license in two years.
“I hope to serve our Bryan office through increasing our local presence in community organizations and professional societies,” said Rachel. “I hope to transition into a management position in the future once my experience allows. I want to be more involved in client relations and business development as well as invest in the mentorship of young engineers.”
View Rachel's Past Presentations
"Not Just Another Dam Safety Lecture"
"Being the Best Mentee You Can Be"
Congratulations to Rachel for her success in attaining new leadership roles and pursuing career excellence. CP&Y looks forward to more exciting news from Rachel as she continues to become a prominent industry leader and promising engineer!
Connect with Rachel!