Mary Erchul, P.E., the association’s second female president, looks to build lasting partnerships & promote engineering as a strong career opportunity for women
The American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC California) announced Mary Erchul, a professional registered engineer and project manager/resident engineer of Ghirardelli Associates, as president of the organization. Her term runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
ACEC California’s core purpose is to strengthen California’s engineering and land surveying businesses to build a better California.
“California is at a crossroads in its ability to finance and deliver vital infrastructure such as highways, roads, bridges, railways, airports, energy, water, wastewater and communications. My goal is to focus on positive engagement with the public sector to build lasting partnerships that will strengthen our member firms, our organization and our state,” Erchul said.
Erchul also said that she hopes to use the visibility created by her appointment to encourage more women to pursue careers in engineering and land surveying. According to a 2013 study by the National Science Federation, the percentage of women employed in the engineering field is the lowest of any technical occupation and, at just 13%, is significantly lower than in the U.S. workforce as a whole. Meanwhile, a 2012 study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute showed that almost two thirds of teenage girls in the U.S. were interested in careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Erchul is the first woman to serve as president of the organization since 2005 and only the second to serve in the role since the formation of the organization in the early 1950s. She has more than 25 years of experience in the management and design of municipal projects throughout California, from initial planning through final design and construction management. She is considered a national expert in pavement engineering and has worked both locally and nationally on major roadway and highway projects.
Some of her recent projects include being part of the project management team working with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Rail Division on the Metrolink Service Expansion Program (MSEP). She is currently working with the towns of Ross and Moraga, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission as a Construction Manager on infrastructure improvement projects.
Erchul is a professional registered engineer in California. She has a BS in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.