SCJ Intern Wins Women’s Transportation Scholarship, Heads for National Competition

Maddie Knecht is no stranger to competition. A hitter for the volleyball team at Saint Martin’s University and a former Junior Olympian, the civil engineering student knows what it takes to win. Last month, she took that victorious spirit and turned it not into gold, but into cash.

The Puget Sound chapter of WTS, or Women’s Transportation Seminar, awarded Maddie $5,000 for its Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship and forwarded her application to the national competition.

According to their website, WTS Foundation scholarships are “competitive and based on the applicant’s specific transportation goals, academic record and transportation-related activities or job skills.”

Maddie and her teammates won 2nd place in the national 2016 PCI Big Beam Contest

Maddie is in her senior year at SMU and has been an intern for SCJ since May 2016. Josh Brannin, a project engineer in the transportation design group at SCJ, encouraged her to apply for the competitive scholarship.

“Maddie is resourceful, a hard worker and a great team player,” said Josh. “She jumps in and offers help or stay late and is always eager to learn more. She has provided a lot of value to our efforts, and we are happy to have her on the team.”

In her application essay for the scholarship, Maddie wrote about her experience as a female engineer and her role as a leader in disciplines throughout the university.

Maddie, middle, on the court with her teammates on the SMU volleyball team

“Over the three years that I have been at Saint Martin’s, participation in the women’s volleyball team, the Benedictine Scholars Program, the PCI Big Beam Competition, and Society of Women Engineers have shaped my work ethic, time management, and leadership skills,” she said.

“I think it is important for women to earn leadership positions in engineering to diversify the work environment and encourage different strengths and perspectives,” she continued.

Maddie, we couldn’t agree more!

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