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Meet the Board: Dora E. Robles PE, CFM

Meet the Board: Dora E. Robles PE, CFM

Dora strikes a pose for a headshot. Photo: Dora E. Robles

The 2017-18 ASCE Texas Section Board of Direction members were asked to fill out a questionnaire so that the Section’s members might get to know them a little better on a more personal level. The series will run in each of the four editions of the Texas Civil Engineer (TCE) and each edition will highlight a couple of the Board members with the goal that by the end of the year each Board member has been introduced. 

What’s the last picture you took on your phone?

A photo of my nieces and nephews enjoying breakfast at my home while visiting Texas. 

What do you love the most about the civil engineering profession? 

I love that as civil engineers we get to help improve the way people live through a variety of different projects. 

What do you do to de-stress and keep a balanced professional and personal life? 

I am an avid runner!! Every year I train for our city’s annual 10K race; my goal every year is to break my previous record time. So far my best time is 58 minutes! Two years ago I also started training in Mix Martial Arts. 

Do you have any unique hobbies or hidden talents?

On the weekends I play the violin in an all-female Mariachi group called “Mariachi Azucenas.” I joined the group back when I was in high school and have pretty much been playing since then. Over the years, I have traveled and played with some amazing musicians throughout the county, but my best experience has been playing on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl in California.

If your life depended on it, and you had to fight either Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, or Steven Segal who would you choose and why? 

Oh dear…this is a tough one. Well given that I grew up watching Walker Texas Ranger and have a background in martial arts, I would have to pick Chuck Norris. I’m sure he would kick my butt, but I can appreciate his training in Chun Kuk Do.

Why and how did you get involved with ASCE and what made you pursue your involvement to the level it is now?

I joined ASCE thanks to my college professor, Alfonso Soto PE. At that time, he was serving in the local branch board and invited me to attend some of the branch meetings and socials. My deeper involvement came when he challenged me to start a student chapter in our university. It was a great opportunity to step up as a leader and pave the road for future civil engineering students to learn about ASCE through a now established student chapter at UTRGV. Almost eight years later, here we are still going strong with ASCE. I have met some great individuals and fostered many friendships throughout the years. 

Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place?

I think it’s worst to live with the idea of never attempting something in the first place. How will you know if you would have failed or succeeded without trying? If you attempt it and fail, at least you can live on knowing you didn’t give up so easily.

If you could have one super power, other than the commonly known ones, what would be your “secret” power?

I would love to be able to travel through space without the need of any technology. 

If you weren’t a Civil Engineer, what other profession would you have chosen?

A party planner!! It’s a perfect job if you think about it: you get to plan parties with other people’s money :). 

What is your proudest achievement? (in civil engineering or in life)

My proudest achievement is definitely getting my P.E. License at a very young age. It’s an amazing feeling when after so many years in school, long work hours, and countless days of studying, you can truly call yourself an ENGINEER.

Who in your life has been the biggest inspiration toward your career, and can you see that inspiration being passed on to young engineers in your day to day life?

My biggest inspiration is my mom. She is the hardest working person I know and has always encouraged me to be a better person. When things don’t seem to go perfectly, she always seems to have the perfect thing to say to make me feel better and figure it out. This is something I try to pass along to the younger engineers who seem discouraged at times when things don’t seem to be going right in their professional and personal life. 

Best piece of advice you have received: 

The best piece of advice I received was to “never be afraid to say you don’t know something.” This was something my first boss would always tell me. As a young engineer, it is very tempting to say you know how to do everything to impress your boss, but it will almost always backfire on you. It’s impossible to know it all, knowledge is gained through years of experience and sometimes even making mistakes along the way. The important thing to remember is to not make the same mistake twice.

Brady Stanford EIT, LSIT

First Year Director at Large