"It’s always too early to quit," Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, once said. Silvia Scheuermann, PE, refers often to this quote when encountering life’s challenges. "This philosophy first worked for me while trying out for my high school swim team," she recalls. The coach had notified her that she was cut from the team but said that if anyone wanted to stay, there was room in the pool. "I kept at it," she said. "My coach was especially critical of my dives saying, ‘how do you expect to swim if you can’t even get in the pool?’ I kept working hard and eventually became one of the top sprinters on my team." In fact, Silvia earned a college scholarship for swimming. "It felt great to be successful because I decided not to let someone tell me I couldn’t do something."
During the summers of her final two years in college, she interned with Urban. While here, her work ethic made quite an impression. "She did anything that was asked of her - and did it well," said Órla Pease, PE, PTOE, who leads Urban’s Pennsylvania Traffic Services Division. This included spending hour after hour getting traffic counts, and putting in a significant amount of work on the Delaware US 13 and 40 Pedestrian Safety Study that won multiple awards. Later, Silvia graduated first in her civil engineering class at Pennsylvania State University with dual degrees in civil engineering and surveying. She joined Urban full time in 2012. "The skills and intuition she showed, along with her hard work and great attitude, set her apart," said Órla. "We’re lucky to have her."
Now settled in at Urban, Silvia has been working diligently for the City of Philadelphia as part of an open-end agreement on traffic design and analysis of various corridors. She has learned a significant amount about signal design in the city and formed great working relationships with the client. According to Patrick Callahan, from the City of Philadelphia Traffic Engineering Unit, "Silvia’s great to work with. She’s detail oriented and her eagerness to learn the City’s procedures benefits both my department and Urban. I also like that she questions and points out potential red flags when she sees them."
So, what does the future hold for Silvia? "I’m just focused on getting my Professional Engineering license now," she said with a pause, "But then, who knows? Maybe I’ll be a practice leader someday."