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Shaping the Future of Engineering

23 February 2024

Explore the future of engineering through Walter P Moore’s lens, where innovation, AI, and sustainability drive transformative industry impact.


Walter P Moore asked several engineers to comment on the future of the industry and how the next generation can make a transformative impact.

The team members were selected because they started their careers with Walter P Moore as interns, remaining with the firm for several years and evolving into their current positions. Whether that position is a graduate engineer or principal, each embodies the theme of this year’s Engineers Week “Welcome to the Future.” They have forged their own path, consistently designing, creating, and anticipating solutions that are shaping the evolving landscape of engineering.  

Drawing on their expertise and experience, their advice to future engineers encourages driving technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), to new heights as a means of propelling the industry forward. They emphasize the importance of dedicating oneself to sustainability and environmental stewardship, recognizing their critical role in the future in the built environment. Moreover, they highlight the value of investing in personal growth and evolving leadership skills, recognizing that these attributes are pivotal in driving change and advancing the future of engineering.

What do you envision for the future of the engineering industry, and how can the next generation of engineers change the future of engineering?

“In my short, six-year career I have gone from using old-fashioned scale and paper to using AI to aid in design. The rate of change of technology is more likely to speed up than slow down, so I would advise the new generation of engineers to remain nimble while also having a firm grasp on the core concepts that drive design.”

Carlos Leyva, PE / Associate 

“The civil engineering industry’s future will use more advanced predictive modeling to better understand the impacts of our changing climate and establish that as the basis of our designs. More powerful AI integrated design tools will not only perform some of the work typically done by engineers today, but will enhance cross-platform parametric design capabilities, allowing for a holistic lifecycle design approach that examine and balance all aspects of a project, from system efficiencies in cost and schedule as well as carbon emissions and water use.”

Rucker Simon, PE, ENV SP / Team Director 

“In my 16-year tenure at Walter P Moore, we have increasingly leveraged technology to tackle complexities and work more efficiently. As building codes, sustainable materials, and technological advancements continue to evolve, engineers must be nimble learners with open minds to shape the future of our industry.”

Rachel Calafell, PE / Principal 

“The future of engineering will continue to become more digital, and engineers will need programming skills and better understanding of AI/ML. The next generation of engineers can change the future of engineering by building leadership and communication skills, so more engineers lead large engineering/technology firms, collaborate as part of external organizations, influence major urban and regional decisions, and dare I say engage in politics.”

Jonathan Hurff, PhD, PE, SE / Principal 

“I envision a more sustainable and efficient engineering industry in the future. I enjoyed learning how to perform life cycle analyses and track Global Warming Potential for our projects as an intern, and I look forward to incorporating these skills into my new role as a graduate engineer. I would encourage other engineers to do the same.”

Julia Bush / Graduate Engineer 

“The future of engineering must revolve around equity, wherein engineers must better evaluate how their choices affect all people. This will require the next generation to be more considerate and deliberate with how they utilize resources, impact the environment, enable disadvantaged communities to thrive, and so much more to create a built environment that solves problems rather than hides them.”

Kyle Dunning, PE, LEED Green Associate / Principal 

“I envision a much more robust, data-driven industry, where we can harvest all the data that we collect to produce more efficient designs and products. The next generation of engineers will use a combination of engineering and data management and analytics skills to get us there. That said, experience will still be key in delivering innovative solutions to the most complex problems.”

Ricardo Martinez, PE / Principal 

“Engineers solve problems, and the world will always have problems to solve. Being adaptable, curious, using available tools as well as creating new tools is how engineers created marvels like the pyramids in the past and will continue to push the envelope with engineering marvels in the future. ”

Erin Kueht, PE, LEED AP BD+C / Principal 

Committed to excellence

We are deeply committed to engineering excellence and innovation. We are proud to have these exceptional individuals within our team, shaping the industry’s future and exemplifying our dedication to fostering talent and providing transformative solutions for our clients. As we look to the future, we remain devoted to collaboration, sustainability, and empowering the next generation of engineers to be architects of change. With a focus on a data-driven engineering industry, we continue to anticipate new challenges, embrace emerging technologies, and nurture leadership skills.

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