Valerie Alvarado and coworkers working on the highway
Alvarado said her time at the UTPB College of Engineering has allowed her to succeed in her career.
For UTPB graduate Valerie Alvarado, it was never a question of whether she would succeed, but a question of when.

“I grew an interest in engineering during high school after taking my first physics class,” Alvarado said. “I enjoyed finding solutions to real world problems.”

Valerie Alvarado holding a snake while workingAlvarado said her mom is an alumna of UTPB and had a great experience, so when Alvarado heard UTPB’s Department of Mechanical Engineering was ABET accredited, she was sold.

Alvarado graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in December 2016, and said she is grateful for her time in the College of Engineering.

“I feel the UTPB College of Engineering aided me the most in discipline and hard work,” Alvarado said. “The professors I had were extremely knowledgeable and helpful but also required you to take ownership of all your work while providing the best product you could to succeed in their course.”

In May 2015 Alvarado was employed as a summer hire for the Texas Department of Transportation. She remained working part time with them in the Transportation Planning and Development section while she finished her studies.

“TxDOT is the best place for a young engineer,” Alvarado said. “They expose you to many opportunities and there is a lot of knowledge between our local district and the divisions located in Austin. I also really liked how safety is their top priority in everything they do. I saw the benefits that came from the projects that were developed and wanted to play a part!”

Alvarado’s part-time experience turned into a career. She is now the District Design Engineer at the Texas Department of Transportation in the Odessa District.

Alvarado said her time at the UTPB College of Engineering has allowed her to succeed in her career.

“UTPB’s College of Engineering helped me succeed in my career in numerous ways,” Alvarado said. “First, the engineering department truly provided me with functional and behavioral skills requiredValerie Alvarado Headshot for my professional career. I apply several theories and engineering concepts I learned at UTPB to highway and bridge design here at TxDOT. They also prepared me to work in teams and analyze risk during the design phase which is essential in any engineering career.”

Alvarado said her advice to UTPB engineering students is to take advantage of the resources offered at UTPB and the opportunities that can be found locally like here at TxDOT.

“I am very happy in this field and have found vast opportunities in my career,” Alvarado said. “I wish to encourage more students into engineering, especially women!”

To learn more about UTPB’s College of Engineering visit