May 12, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Join the YEC for a first of its kind event -  a Young Professionals Workshop Series!  The event will consist of three sessions between 6 pm - 7:30 pm on Wednesday 4/28, 5/5, and 5/12.

We are excited to get a group of Young Structural Engineering Professionals together in a virtual space to learn more about their soft skills.  Our catered program of dedicated sessions will challenge the way you view yourself as a team player and where you see your career progressing.  We hope that you come out of this program with a better understanding of yourselves as an employee, incubate your skills as a leader, and obtain knowledge to help you set proper goals to advance your career.


Mary Lou Kutska

Program Schedule:

Session 1 - April 28th
6:00 pm - 6:10 pm Introductions
6:10 pm - 7:00 pm Personality Type Discussion
Participants will learn from the professionals at Human Dynamics, Inc. about assertiveness and emotionality, the four behavioral styles, and how to utilize their own style to improve results and relationships.
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Virtual Team-Building Activity and Reflection
Participants will be divided into teams to work together to complete a virtual challenge.  In this challenge, you must play to your strengths and work with other people to successfully determine the code to escape.


Session 2 - May 5th
6:00 pm - 6:10 pm Introductions
6:10 pm - 7:00 pm Mentorship, Career Path, and Leadership Panel Discussion
Young Engineers will participate in a panel discussion with experienced industry experts who are past and current SEAOI board members.   Topics to be covered are Mentorship, Career Paths, and Leadership.

Panelists to Include:
  • Soliman Khudeira, Chicago Department of Transportation
  • Derek Boeldt, Chicago Transit Authority
  • Christine M. Freisinger, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
  • Tony F. Shkurti, HNTB Corporation
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Personal Branding Skills
Participants will learn about personal branding - what exactly it is, what are methods to develop a footprint for yourself in the industry, and why it is important for your career.
Session 3 - May 12th
6:00 pm - 6:10 pm Introductions
6:10 pm - 7:00 pm Productive Work Habits
Participants will learn about the habit cycle - how cues, habits, rewards, and issues are all intertwined to develop that cycle.  We will talk with one another about some of our personal work habits and what strategies we can implement to become more effective workers, especially in regards to working from home.
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Case Study Group Discussion
Participants will read a case study synopsis prior to the workshop and come ready to discuss the ethical dilemmas involved in the case study.  This session will involve critical thinking, communication to reach a small group consensus, and presentations of findings to the larger group.

Course material will be provided electronically, some of which will need to be reviewed prior to the course.

Deadline for course sign-up is April 21st, 2021.

Registration Fee:

  • $5.00 (member rate)
  • $10.00 (non-member rate)

Meet the Panelists

Soliman Khudeira

Position: Section Chief of Major Projects, Chicago Department of Transportation - Division of Engineering; Adjunct Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology

Education: Illinois Institute of Technology, Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. - Civil Engineering - Structures

Licensure: S.E., P.E. Illinois

Societies: SEAOI, ASCE


Derek Boeldt
Position: Deputy Chief Engineer, Infrastructure, Chicago Transit Authority

Education: Michigan Technological University, B.S., Civil Engineering

Licensure: SE, Illinois; PE, Illinois



Christine M Freisinger

Position: Associate Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Education: Illinois Institute of Technology, B.S. Architectural Engineering; University of Minnesota, M.S., Structural Engineering

Licensure: S.E., P.E. Illinois

Societies: SEAOI, AISC


Tony F. Shkurti 

Position: Fellow and Vice President, HNTB Corporation 

Education: University of Tirana, Albania, B.S.; Wayne State University, M.S.; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D. 

Licensure: S.E., Illinois; P.E., Illinois, MI, MN, OH, WI





Adam Whicker ( Chicago Transit Authority )
David Yoon ( Chicago Transit Authority )
Elizabeth LaCrosse ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Moody Metry ( DB Sterlin Consultants )
Shivang Gupta ( Jacobs )
Nichole Mueller ( Mueller & Associates, LLC )
David Alvarez ( ATMI Precast )
Rahim Ukani ( ATMI Precast )
Nuntana Buakong ( ATMI Precast )
James Sapp ( ATMI Precast )
Cameron Locher ( Benton and Associates )
Grace Duchaj ( Walker Consultants )
Kevin Marks ( Walker Consultants )
Edgardo Santana ( ATMI Precast )
Christopher Zajac ( ATMI Precast )
Alex Stern ( WSP USA )
Mary Lou Kutska ( Ciorba Group )
Vidhi Chudasama ( WSP )
Christine Freisinger ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Tony Shkurti ( HNTB Corporation )
Derek Boeldt ( Chicago Transit Authority )
Soliman Khudeira ( CDOT - Engineering )
Jeffie Chang ( WSP )
Gloria Frank ( Raths, Raths & Johnson )
Nancy Radler ( SEAOI )
Jonathan Tavarez ( AISC )
Mary Jane Davis ( SEAOI )
David Nauheimer ( Sargent & Lundy LLC )