Meet Toshia Drebes, PE, the newest member of our Transportation team in Quincy, IL!
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself…
Toshia: I was raised in Quincy, IL, and have two boys ages 11 and 8. I enjoy doing anything with my boys, being outdoors, planting flowers, riding four-wheelers, fishing, etc.
I have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and am coming from the Missouri Department of Transportation where I spent 15 years in roadway design.
Q: What inspired you to pursue transportation engineering?
Toshia: I wanted a career that included working independently and on teams; that inspired my creative side, but was heavy in math and science; and that incorporated AutoCAD or some sort of Computer Aided Design since I loved my AutoCAD class in high school. Engineering checked all of those boxes!
Knowing that my work positively impacts the safety of my traveling friends and family, as well as many other motorists, is very fulfilling. I also enjoy the collaborative work environment that it takes to get a roadway project from inception, through the design process, and into the construction phase. The problem-solving facet of my job is what excites me! The satisfaction of getting all of the puzzle pieces to work together is exciting and keeps me coming back for more!
Sharing my love of engineering with my children is also a favorite of mine. Driving them through one of my projects, seeing their reactions, and answering all of their questions is the best!
Q: Is there a project you’re proudest of thus far in your career?
Toshia: At the six-year mark in my career, I became the lead designer on the South Lincoln Drive Interchange over US 61 in Troy, MO. The project goal was to construct grade-separated access to replace an existing at-grade crossing that was known for high-severity crashes. The interchange design incorporated three roundabouts that tied in city streets and included an auxiliary lane to a nearby high school.
Q: What was your first job?
Toshia: Corn detasseling.
Q: Where was the last place you traveled?
Toshia: Gulf Shores, AL. All of the infrastructure to make the beach front accessible in spite of it having water everywhere was interesting.
Q: What sports do you play?
Toshia: Sand volleyball.