April 03, 2018
Thomas Wukadinovich graduated from Cal Poly in 2013 with a B.S. in civil engineering and is now a Professional Engineer at Traylor Bros. His background in construction management has given him opportunities to work on a wide range of projects.
Thomas specialized in water resource and received a minor in construction management at Cal Poly. He recommends pursuing the minor to learn about the common terminology, processes in construction, and the marketability to employers.
“The construction management minor taught me to respect both sides – construction and engineering. It has helped me make decisions that keep cost in mind,” said Thomas.
Thomas was involved in Chi Epsilon as president his senior year. While on board, Thomas implemented strategies to increase attendance and member participation. He helped double community service events, increase intramural sports participation, expand budgeting, and collaborated with Cal Poly’s Society of Civil Engineers. Donations, conference participation, and overall member excitement increased during his senior year.
After graduating, Thomas went to work for Traylor Bros. in Long Beach as an engineer. Traylor Bros. is a heavy civil construction company with locations throughout the United States.
“What intrigued me about Traylor Bros. is that they are a contractor but they allow engineers to be responsible for their own designs. I viewed it as the best of both sides,” said Thomas.
During his first year at Traylor Bros., Thomas worked on estimating for projects ranging from a large elevated rail job in Hawaii to a marine project in British Columbia. Thomas was sent to New Orleans to work on replacing the temporary pump stations from Hurricane Katrina with permanent pumps. The residents were very appreciative of the project and its effect on the community in the long term.
Currently, Thomas is working on a four-mile stretch of a subway system in downtown Los Angeles which will become the purple line that extends from Wilshire Blvd. to Westwood. Since August, Thomas has been an engineer on support of mass soil excavation, steel erection, and ventilation for the subway project.
Because of its proximity to the La Brea Tar Pits, hydrogen sulfide gas release is a risk to the project. To reduce the risk of explosion, several precautions have been implemented including prohibiting electronics in the tunnel unless protected by explosion-proof cases. The project is expected to continue through the rest of the year.
“Your interest in a subject is going to make it easier to work harder. What I do is more of a lifestyle than it is a profession and working in this industry is truly fulfilling,” said Thomas.
Traylor Bros. is a platinum sponsor of the CEENVE department and offers various positions for students. Openings can be viewed on the department’s Jobs and Internship listing page. For more information about Traylor Bros., visit www.traylor.com.