Welcome to Engineers Week 2020! We’re excited the spend the week highlighting some of our top-notch engineers, their most memorable projects, and what they’re excited about for the future of active transportation. These passionate, talented engineers – at all stages in their careers – are what makes Toole Design so successful. Inspired to join them? Check out our job board – we have several positions open now, all across the country.
Q&A with Yasmin Fuseini-Codjoe | Engineer
Tell us about your job here at Toole Design. What kind of projects do you work on, and what is your role?
I am particularly interested in design and data analysis. As a result, I’ve worked on projects that include conceptual roadway design using AutoCAD, crash data analysis and countermeasure identification, and site measurements and site design for bikeshare stations.
Why did you become an engineer?
Growing up, I was always great with numbers and understanding how things work and I wanted a way to apply those skills to helping my community. Becoming a civil engineer was the perfect fit.
What made you want to work at Toole Design?
I wanted to work at a firm where the people are motivated by making change and helping others rather than just making money. Everyone I spoke to that worked at Toole Design or knew about Toole Design embodied that or affirmed that, and so I accepted an internship at Toole Design. Once I was in here, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else! I also have a thing for beautiful websites and the Toole Design website is amazing.
Tell us about a project you’ve worked on here that you’ve found particularly exciting, interesting, or innovative.
I am currently involved in the Station Siting Services for the San Gabriel Valley Regional E-Bikeshare Program.
I am particularly excited about this because it is the first kind of shared micromobility to be introduced in that region; we will be introducing a healthy and active alternative means of transportation to their communities, while increasing connectivity and inevitably triggering improvements in their bike facilities. Basically, the project comes with health AND structural benefits. That’s all you can ask for!
What is the most exciting trend you see with active transit right now?
In my opinion, electric scooters and other dockless devices are the most exciting trend in active transit. I think they are very effective in solving the first/last mile problem. With improved infrastructure, like more protected bike lanes, and by regulating their presence on sidewalks to avoid hazardous conditions, I believe scooters can become a permanent and convenient part of the transportation network rather than just a passing trend.
What’s been the most surprising or unexpected thing you’ve learned since working at Toole Design?
I have learned that geographical locations (and time zones) are not a barrier to teamwork. All my other work experience has been in places where offices work independently and barely communicate. The way all the Toole Design offices effectively work together surprised me at first because it seemed like something that could only happen in theory. Now I can’t see a firm running any other way.
Did you have a mentor that inspired you to get into engineering?
Yes, my father. He is a civil engineer as well and has his own transportation engineering firm back home in Ghana. As a child, he would dress me up in boots and a hard hat and take me with him to his sites. He always explained what was happening with the construction as if I understood the concepts already. The excitement with which he shared his work with me got me excited as well, even though I had no idea what he was talking about. I just knew that one day I, too, wanted to be just as excited about the built environment and improving my community.
What do you hope your career will be like in ten years?
I grew up in a country where cars and highways are still a necessity in connecting people, and so active transportation and transit are not priorities. I am hoping that in 10 years there will be a shift that I can be at the forefront of by using the skills and techniques I learn here to introduce fast, safe, healthy and sustainable modes of transportation to the developing world.