Inside the Tollway

News, stories and insight from inside the Illinois Tollway.

Tollway Senior Project Engineer Named Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year

Illinois Tollway Senior Project Engineer, Laura Thompson, P.E. (left), with Megan McDonald, P.E., president-elect, Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers

Since coming to work for the Illinois Tollway in 2013, Senior Project Engineer Laura Thompson has helped complete complex roadway projects, refined the use of sophisticated 3-D modeling for construction design and also found time to mentor students considering careers in engineering.

Her accomplishments have led to Thompson being honored as the 2019 Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year by the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“Laura Thompson has used her engineering expertise, management abilities and communications skills to play a leadership role on complex projects and we are pleased to see her efforts being recognized by the engineering community,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “The work Laura has accomplished since joining the Tollway demonstrates the depth of engineering talent we have working for our customers.”

The award is presented annually to a professional engineer 35 years of age or less who has demonstrated outstanding engineering achievement in the public sector, worked to advance the civil engineering profession and contributed to community service.

Thompson was recognized by ASCE Illinois for her work in completing the I-290/Illinois Route 390 Interchange, as well as her role in making improvements to the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) and the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355).

She also was cited by the group for spearheading the use of 3-D computer modeling on the Illinois Route 47 Interchange Project on I-88, which fosters more efficient construction, while saving time and reducing costs.

Thompson also volunteers her time and professional experience to speak with students who are pursuing engineering careers, including meeting with students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, while also encouraging younger students enrolled in Aurora University’s STEM Partnership School to consider engineering careers.

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