Engineers Week 2022: Meet Sarah Rife


Since 1951, Engineers Week has inspired the next generation of STEM leaders by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. Parametrix has a vested interest in ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce.

This week, the engineers of Parametrix share what inspires them, what they enjoy about engineering, favorite projects, advice, and how they are “reimagining the possible”.

Sarah is an engineer with Parametrix’s Puget Sound Environmental Planning & Compliance team, based in Seattle, WA. She has been with Parametrix for 5 years and has 8 years of industry experience.

What inspired you to become an engineer?

In 4th grade, an environmental engineer came to the class to share how he did mine reclamation; fixing the ground and waterways from mine contaminants so that there is no perceivable damage for future generations to enjoy and use. From then, I knew I wanted to do something similar. It took a little while to come to stormwater engineering (with a stop at civil and geological first), but now knowing I help improve water quality and fish passage routes makes work seem a lot less like “work”.

What advice do you have for the next generation of engineers?

When I was in school there seemed to be a lot of pressure on picking one of the big engineering disciplines (civil, mechanical, electrical) without showing all the branches of that kind of engineering that exist in the world. Civil engineering alone you could do structural, environmental, geotechnical, transportation, water resources, construction, etc. Do internships, talk to other engineers at job fairs, find what you enjoy doing or what you find interesting/ fun and then figure out which classes to take to get there. 

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