Carla Stueve Is the First Female Hennepin County Highway Engineer

Promoting the importance of women’s involvement in scientific fields and achieving equality in the workplace are items that have long been sought after, but one woman from Maple Grove has succeeded at accomplishing both while continuing to be a role model for not only other women, but all young people who yearn to be engineers.

Carla Stueve, the transportation project delivery director for Hennepin County, was appointed as the first female engineer to assume the role of Hennepin County highway engineer, which is a position she will hold until May 2019. As part of this job, Stueve will present the county’s road and bridge projects that need to be addressed, which she says add up to about $50 million annually.

“County roads and bridges are key to connecting people to the places they need to go, including work, school, health care, shopping, recreation and emergency services,” Stueve says.

Stueve graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. She is registered as a Professional Engineer with the State of Minnesota and has had 22 years of transportation engineering experience that began when she started as a Hennepin County intern in the transportation department.

After becoming the first female president of the local section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers in 2006, Stueve has continued to pave the way for other young women. After several years working in transportation jobs in Plymouth, in 2013, Stueve began working in the Hennepin County’s Transportation Planning division and was promoted in January 2018 to director of the Transportation Project Delivery department, which is responsible for the design, bridge and construction divisions for the county. “These divisions help ensure we’re developing a safe, efficient, balanced and environmentally sound county transportation system,” Stueve says.

With the duties she assumes as director and county highway engineer, she will also focus on improving the safety and accessibility of all road and bridge projects and look into ways to integrate new technology. She wants to maintain good relationships with other national and state partners, so transportation can be improved, not only in Hennepin County, but throughout the country. She also strives to make the department a workplace that encourages differences and continues to evolve, so people feel included and enjoy working with her team.

Although she feels proud to be the first woman to hold this position, she is more focused on how she can continually improve aspects of the transportation department. “I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to play a key role in these organizations and develop a valuable network to share ideas with others in the industry who share a passion for transportation,” Stueve says.

In order for more women to successfully enter the engineering field,  Stueve’s advice is to network, find internships and most importantly, find something you love that continues to inspire you. “Pursue work that you enjoy, and never stop learning and growing,” she says.