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Elements of Cindy Loos: Celebrating an award-winning engineer and leader

Leads projects that improve our world. Advocates for her peers. Helps her community. These three things are the calling cards for Hanson Vice President and Senior Project Manager Cindy Loos, P.E. Last year, Cindy was elected to Hanson’s board of directors and was named one of Peoria, Illinois’ InterBusiness Issues Magazine’s Women of Influence. The magazine said Cindy is known for “managing projects and clients, lifting others up and serving the community.”

For her profile in the magazine, Cindy gave this advice: “Always work hard and put your best foot forward, because you can be just as successful as your male counterparts. Do not be afraid to ask questions or work above your pay grade. Be the first one to volunteer for an assignment and be willing to put in the hours needed to complete the job. You will be recognized for your efforts.”

As Cindy’s friends and colleagues, we’ve seen firsthand how Cindy builds positive relationships with Hanson employees and clients, mentors employees and students and forges a career path for herself and others in what is still a male-dominated profession.

Cindy presented Hanson’s Management Advisory Committee’s award for an employee’s idea of the year at the company’s annual shareholder and employee meeting last year in Springfield, Illinois.

According to research conducted by the Society of Women Engineers, only 30 percent of women who earn bachelor’s degrees in engineering are still working in engineering 20 years later. The research also states that only 13 percent of engineers are women.

This year, Cindy will celebrate 22 years with Hanson. She is a professional engineer in Illinois and has bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and civil engineering.

Although numbers and engineering are areas of strength for Cindy, her friendly and approachable manner make her a sought-after and popular resource at public meetings and client presentations.

As a project manager, she has worked on numerous bridge and roadway improvements in Peoria and central Illinois and has been involved in major transportation initiatives. She was project manager for the Warehouse District Complete Streets Project, a revitalization project in downtown Peoria that addressed the area’s transportation, economic development and aesthetic needs and received $10 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II funds. She also managed an adjacent $10 million state-funded project that included the rehabilitation of Washington Street, a critical section that was redesigned to create a safer, pedestrian-friendly and sustainable urban environment.

Cindy was project manager for the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement (MCORE) project in the Illinois cities of Champaign and Urbana that was a partnership between the city of Champaign, city of Urbana, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The $35 million MCORE project received a TIGER grant in 2014 to enhance mobility choices, improve infrastructure, promote sustainability and improve critical links in the core of the community. This project recently won an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.

Cindy also has served as principal on transportation projects, such as the new westbound span of the McClugage Bridge in Peoria and two overpasses and an underpass for BNSF Railway Co. in Galesburg, Illinois.

During her career, Cindy has won numerous awards, including Civil Engineer of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Central Illinois Section, the Outstanding Engineer Award from the Society of Women Engineers’ Central Illinois Section and the 25 Women in Leadership Award from WEEK TV, Marketeer Magazine and the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. But this award-winner also is quick to nominate her colleagues and clients for engineering, industry and community awards. She is a leader who readily recognizes and promotes the talents and achievements of those she works with in professional or civic endeavors.

Cindy Loos, P.E., and her Hanson colleagues participated in the 2017 Greater Peoria CareerSpark in Peoria, Illinois. From left, Cindy, Matthew Dawson, P.E., PTOE; Serena Page, P.E., PLS; and Travis Painter, P.E., S.E.

As Tom Smith III, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, recently wrote in an article, “Make Engineers Week a Year-Long Commitment,” engineers and their work often are unappreciated, especially in a culture focused on celebrities and athletes. “. . . we focus on the true heroes, the ones who ensure our quality of life with things like shelter, heat, transportation and water. These heroes continue to protect, to save, to enhance countless lives each day,” Smith said. We salute Cindy and our entire team of engineers, planners and scientists. To read Cindy’s profile in InterBusiness Issues, click here.

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