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Holly Ahumada and her family.
Former engineering student Holly Ahumada ‘12 was recently named the New Professional of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers. | Image: Courtesy of Holly Ahumada

Respect, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, leadership and excellence. These are the core values that every Aggie prides themselves on and uses to pave the way for their careers. This is no different for Holly Ahumada ’12, a former student from the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who was recently named a New Professional of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers. This award recognizes professional engineers who have been heavily involved with organizations from their university and career field.

Ahumada’s decision to attend Texas A&M University started at an early age while cheering on her favorite football team at Kyle Field. She was also raised in a family of Aggie engineers, though she is the first civil engineer in her family. Ahumada’s grandfather spent time as a professor in the College of Engineering, which influenced her greatly.

“College Station always felt like a second home to me,” Ahumada said. “We always had football season tickets, and that’s where my grandparents lived.”

Along with the early exposure to Texas A&M, another aspect that drew Ahumada was the influential Aggie network and the many organizations she could join.

“The Aggie network is such a real thing, I have been hired twice by engineers who are also former students of the civil and environmental engineering department,” she said. “It really helps because we already had something in common and a similar background.”

While at Texas A&M, Ahumada was a member of the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society, the American Water Resource Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers and held many offices in the Alpha Phi Omega organization. All these organizations helped her become a more well-rounded student and to fully understand what she wanted to do after graduation.

“Being involved in organizations really helped me get an idea of what type of companies I would want to work for,” said Ahumada. “They also taught me leadership skills that I still use in my career.”

Now, as a stormwater engineering project manager at Freese and Nichols in Fort Worth, Texas, Ahumada serves as current president of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers’ Fort Worth chapter. In this role, Ahumada works on many events and programs, including MATHCOUNTS, a program that encourages middle school-age students to participate in math competitions at the local, state and national levels to boost their interests in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career.

Ahumada owes a lot of her success in her field to the various organizations she was a part of during her undergraduate and graduate years. To her, being involved is one of the most important things you can do in school.

What we do as engineers is so much more than just crunching numbers. Having the social aspect and being in situations where you need to work in a team setting is very beneficial and lets you see other perspectives.

Holly Ahumada