Editorial: 08.13.2019

Amy Huller is Drawn to Design and to Solving Problems

amy huller on a job site with quote about solving problems

As a young girl, Amy Huller, P.E., was captivated by her dad’s stories about his job as a hydrologic technician with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Growing up, it was exciting for me to see river gauges and to hear him talk about what happened at work each day,” she says.

That fascination, combined with her aptitude for math and science, convinced Huller to pursue a career in engineering.

“I loved to solve problems and come up with out-of-the-box solutions, so engineering was an ideal fit,” says Huller, who enrolled in the engineering program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “I settled on civil engineering because it was the most diverse field and had so many employment options.”

A nine-month internship at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) solidified Huller’s love for design. “While I enjoyed the construction aspect of the job, I wanted to be the person who was determining where the sewers and water lines were being placed and designing the flow of an overall site,” she recalls.

In 2004, Huller signed on as a design engineer with Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, a civil and structural engineering firm in St. Charles, Mo. During her nine-year tenure, she developed an expertise in geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology.

“A GIS smart map can help a land owner make decisions about how to use the land in the most effective way, and it’s also a great tool for designers to see what’s there before we start the design process,” she says.

Huller continued to hone her design expertise with Glasper Professional Services, a civil engineering and land surveying firm she joined in 2104.

Last year, she came onboard with Castle Contracting as a design manager. In this role, Huller works closely with Senior Design Manager James Parks, P.E., to expand Castle’s in-house expertise in civil design-build projects.

“I specialize in commercial, residential, mixed-use and industrial site development — anything from a small car wash lot to a large shopping plaza,” she says.

Huller is currently working on the first phase of a residential mixed-use project in The Hill neighborhood in south St. Louis. This involves rerouting sewers, electric and water lines for 56 single-family lots. A planned second phase includes the addition of an apartment building, parking garage and park.

“What I like most about my job is coming up with innovative solutions,” she says. “The design aspect is my favorite part—laying out lots, roads and utilities.”

She thinks diverse viewpoints are critical to delivering exceptional work. “Differences in gender, cultural background and experiences bring different perspectives to all of our projects, which helps us to bring superior solutions to our clients,” she says.

As a mom to two daughters and a Girl Scout troop leader, Huller takes seriously her role in introducing young women to potential careers in engineering and other STEM fields. “When my kids were younger, they thought all I did at work was color and draw,” she jokes. “But as they’ve grown up, I’ve been able to explain what I do, show them the world of design and demonstrate that women can be successful in engineering.”

Since joining Castle, Huller has enjoyed the company’s culture and close-knit community. “Everyone was so welcoming when I first came onboard, and the support here has been great,” she says. “I absolutely love coming to work every day.”

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