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Katherine Mellon
Works at Nevada Department of Transportation
Attended University of Nevada, Reno
Lives in Reno, NV
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Civil Engineer
Bragging rights
I ran three marathons in one year.
  • University of Nevada, Reno
    M.B.A., 2009 - 2011
  • University of Nevada, Reno
    Civil Engineering, 1999 - 2004
Basic Information
Project Manager/Civil Engineer
A civil engineer/business manager with over ten years experience in the public & private sectors. Work experience includes: project, program, & construction management; supervision; civil design; & marketing. Work was successfully completed ahead of schedule & under budget for various commercial sites, subdivisions & public works projects for entities such as the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA), & Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Project/program management includes: Amendment & Request for Proposal (RFP) submission including agreements, scope of services, & contract documents; Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) programs monitoring; traffic incident management policies, processes, & procedures refinement; Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) review committee chair; vendor negotiations participant; stakeholder communications; project documentation establishment, meeting facilitator, & team task tracking. Construction management knowledge includes: outsourced and in-house contractors, survey crews, & suppliers supervision; critical path/Gantt chart monitoring; field inspection for landscape, erosion control, hotplant, aggregate lime marination, striping, signage, utility adjustments, and street paving; & final “punch list” creation. Areas of design experience include: supervision of engineer interns, technicians, students, superintendents, foreman, & laborers; grading; drainage; rational method hydrology; sewer, roadway plan/profiles including utility synchronization; storm water pollution prevention plans (SWPPP); & project coordination. Marketing experience includes SOQ development for Washoe RTC, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), City of Sparks & Reno; & proposal coordination.
  • Nevada Department of Transportation
    Project Manager, 2012 - present
    • Reduced a program’s budget by 81% of ongoing allocated state funds. Ran a query of all invoices paid on an agreement, & for a specific consultant in an accounting management database in order to calculate the future value cost needed to pay a vendor for a four year term. Used a conservative contingency factor to subtract $405,000/year needed in reservations for the state fiscal years 15-18. Benefited the organization by transferring the difference in funds to other projects that needed revenue for completion. • Inherited a program agreement that was near expiration. Calculated $1.95 million dollars that remained in the contract budget for contractor payment. Wrote a time only amendment to the agreement. Renewed on-call hazmat services which allowed the rapid assessment, cleanup, transport, disposal, reporting, & permitting of traffic incident spills, biohazards, & illegal dump sites. Protected drinking water, health, & the ecosystem. • Streamlined multiple segregated interdepartmental regional contracts into one consolidated agreement. Broadened the scope of an ITS focused on-call program to encompass all of the other divisions’ needs within the Department such as: Maintenance & Asset Management, Environmental Services, & Traffic Operations. Identified stakeholders’ specific needs & wants. Communicated the expanded scope objectives with other Project Managers to avoid renewing contracts covered under the newly developed statewide plan. Saved taxpayer dollars by getting rid of redundancies caused by organizational silos. • Assigned champions from the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP), Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP), & NDOT to develop & review a Request for Proposal (RFP). Networked at wind warning debriefs, statewide ITS meetings, & an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) exercise. Visited various NDOT divisions in-person. Narrowed down the most experienced candidates by surveying Environmental Scientists, Police Officers, field maintenance workers, Roadway Operations Center (ROC) operators, Accountants, & various other employees. Enlisted experts for a hazmat panel which formulated technical specifications to select the highest skilled & least expensive private Consultant. • Managed five statewide I.T.S. projects simultaneously. Identified project prioritization based on political involvement, funding, & public needs. Delegated tasks & created Gantt charts to address multiple demands & time constraints unique to each project. Completed most important issues first & least essential items last. Accounted for multiple projects that were completed ahead of schedule. • Developed a new protocol which enables Roadway Operations Center (ROC) staff to dispatch preapproved tow truck vendors to a traffic accident by viewing roadway conditions on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) screens. Changed the existing process by calling a tow truck immediately after a crash is identified versus waiting until an NHP officer arrives on site in person first before calling for resources. Researched DOT programs: Florida’s Specialty Towing & Roadside Repair (STARR), Texas’ Safeclear, & Washington’s Instant Tow by reading & interviewing each state’s Project Manager to understand the successes & lessons learned. Created a tailored statewide NV specific Scope of Services plan that considered both rural & urban areas by using the research data, & by collaborating with stakeholders to determine NV’s needs & wants. This project reduced the time disabled vehicles are spent inside the live lane & shoulder sections by 20-60+ minutes. • Forecasted vendor reimbursement funds for Accounting by programming active tasks, milestones, & scope into a proprietary software tracking system called Project Scheduling & Management System (PSAMS). Planned future monetary reserves for Financial Management to add into a Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) which reserves enough money to fund ongoing or new projects. • Revamped a four year old outdated environmental- & traffic- oriented project to be modern with federal & state (FHWA, EPA, USDOT, NRS, NAC & CFR) maintenance, legal, & operations practices. Discovered inefficiencies with the internal & external procedures such as private responsible parties not utilizing a preapproved qualified vendor, unrecorded non-itemized fees, & contractor lack of accountability. Interviewed maintenance managers, accountants, environmental engineers, hazmat certified vendors, administrative assistants, deputy attorney general, & upper management to identify problems & prescribe a solution by using only a single point of contact paired with a restricted method of bill pay. Saved tax payers’ money by closely monitoring invoices & cash outflow. • Proposed an incentivized structure by the use of cash bonuses for large scale incident scene cleanup crews to work quickly when dispatched to a roadway accident scene. Created a statewide Scope of Work that pays money to vendors for quick arrival, cleanup, & traffic control. Examined DOT programs including: Washington’s Major Incident Tow (MIT), Florida’s Rapid Incident Scene Clearance (RISC), & Georgia’s Towing & Recovery Incentive Program (TRIP) before meeting with stakeholders to formulate a customized NV plan. This plan promoted steady state traffic flow, reduces congestion, increases first responder safety, & decreases emissions & secondary accidents. • Evaluated benefit:cost calculations that were intended for the Board of Directors to justify the continued use of a roving service patrol program. Used the Highway Capacity Manual HCM 2010 Volume 2: Uninterrupted Flow issued by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies (page 10-30, exhibit 10-17) to calculate the percentage of available freeway capacity based upon the number of lanes per roadway when either a shoulder or lane obstruction. Used the vph/lane flow rate to determine the increased capacity when an incident is reduced by 5, 15, & 25 minutes. Discovered that the derived equations needed alterations to accurately represent the program value. Developed new accurate calculations with four traffic engineers that justified the continued program support. • Monitored the operations of a roving highway patrol public assistance program by reading customer feedback surveys, & supervising highway assists. Coded responses of assisted motorists by reading thousands of feedback reports by the use of essay style comment cards. Complied findings & analyzed qualitative & quantitative data to identify benefits:cost. Reported field studies & analysis to upper management. Refined the processes & procedures to align the project mission with actual field actions. • Discovered four years worth of paid invoices that were not billed to the correct agreement which caused a lower inaccurate budget representation. Created journal vouchers to account for $77,000 worth of unassigned project costs. Formulated a method with accountants to track & control future invoicing between interdepartmental divisions & three districts. Consolidated the invoice payment process by communicating the necessity of assigning all payment vouchers with an agreement number to the administrative staff. • Developed a solution with upper management to justify monetary allocations for outsourced programs. Procured relevant economic studies, & analyzed four different states’ justification methods for project continuation. Created a presentation for the Board of Directors that reported statistical analysis results. Convinced politicians to sustain a continued course of action. • Represented NDOT in person at an advanced traveler information system user group forum in Sioux Falls, SD. Interacted with Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, & Wyoming state DOT participants to identify lessons learned. Verbally presented Nevada specific experiences, Roadway Operations Center (ROC) questions, & unresolved issues. Documented answers & presented the collaborative feedback to NDOT stakeholders. The information was cascaded to engineers, & technicians to enable best practices of a legacy system. • Committeed a Scope of Services review panel, & participated in cost reduction negotiations that established a four year public-private partnership for a roadway conditions information reporting system which informed the public of: road closures, construction work activities & associated time duration, weather forecasts, & real-time wind speeds. Collaborated with information technology professionals, upper management, engineers, & contractors to understand & develop performance mandates. Analyzed the project scope, documented suggestions, & provided feedback to the working group before negotiating cost with the contractor. Provided the business framework for an accurate reliable website, mobile application, interactive voice response (IVR), & social media communication methods for public access to real time data.
  • HDR Engineering, Inc.
    Transportation Engineer /Construction Inspector/ Marketing Coordinator, 2007 - 2011
    • Supervised various field construction operations for two NDOT projects and one RTC project including: striping; signage; hot plant production and calibration; lime marination; roadway base placement; open grade street paving; erosion control; landscape; utility adjustments; storm water and electrical power pole pedestrian push buttons. Ensured various contractors, suppliers and subconsultants completed tasks in a reasonable time frame, were compliant with plans specifications and special provisions, and were off of the project site during peak hours to ensure public safety. As a result, the contractors’ and suppliers’ work complied with project regulations. • Directed and communicated the contractors’ intended construction plans, and what specifically was needed for construction with a survey crew. Periodically checked with the survey crew to answer any questions regarding the grades needed. Checked with superintendents to make sure they were satisfied with the land surveyor’s work and what they wanted for improved future construction staking. Incorporated their needs into meetings with the survey team and ensured the changes were implemented in future work. This improved contractors’ satisfaction and ensured the survey crew met clients’ needs. • Attended weekly construction progress and conflict resolution meetings involving owners, contractors, subcontractors and subconsultants. The meetings informed all parties involved of the intended plans and action items needed to proceed with building. This maximized utilization and ensured organization. Everyone was aware of the intended plans and questions were answered and addressed consistently throughout the construction phases. As a result of these meetings, the team visited the project site and formulated solutions. • Observed construction site temporary traffic control diversions for a multimodal roadway and verified flaggers’ current licenses to ensure traffic operations were effective. This reduced passenger vehicle congestion and increased public safety. • Reviewed contractor’s Gantt chart/construction schedule using Primavera. Communicated with the project manager if corrections or revisions were needed to ensure the project was on schedule, tasks were relative, and the process was realistic. The contractor completed work before the final deadline. • Checked inspectors’ field books to guarantee accurate quantity calculations and field measurements were properly performed shortly after or during building. As a result, the contractor received accurate payment in a timely manner and funding was distributed in exact amounts. • Acted as a QA/QC reviewer for design calculations, special provisions and civil improvement plans. Documented requested correction comments into a report for third party designers to update. In effect the design was accurate and reliable for public transportation. • Referenced the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to determine sign removals for an existing intersection and a new signage plan based on roadway improvements. This created an improved environment and efficient flow of traffic that met current engineering standards and practices. • Quantified various building materials for many engineer’s estimates. Determined unit costs for each product by referencing trends in recent contractor’s bid schedules. Referencing actual modern pricing assured the engineer’s estimate met current currency rates. • Oversaw the work of one technician’s data entry into Excel spread sheets. Periodically checked with him to answer his questions and confirm that his work was completed within project deadlines. As a result, the Excel equations accurately calculated precise results and work was completed on time. • Calculated proposed grades as the roadway was being built for curb and gutters, American Disability Association (ADA) compliant pedestrian ramps and drainage drop inlets. Quick immediate calculations were distributed to the land surveys as performed, which decreased lag time between engineers and laborers. • Reviewed multiple existing sewer lift station locations to assess the danger of flood damages. Materials referenced include: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps, Clark County Regional Flood Control District 2002 Las Vegas Valley Flood Control Master Plan Update, existing drainage reports, grading plan sheets from the Clark County web site and Hydrologist’s field notes. Wrote technical reports describing existing conditions and future recommendations for flood prevention. In effect, the analysis informed public officials of a potential water contamination issue, and the water table pollution was mitigated. • Established existing and proposed hydraulic basins and design flow rates using the rational method while complying with Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) 3-230-17FA Drainage in Areas Other Than Airfields dated January 2004 by the Department of Defense of the United States of America. Storm drains were sized at minimum diameter standards to minimize construction impacts and reduce material costs. This saved the owner money and created a trusted advisor relationship. • Reviewed hydrograph DXF cross sections for the USACE in AutoCAD generated HEC RAS models for existing and proposed conditions to determine the change in duration of overbank flooding between existing and proposed conditions. Found peak and final stage values and entered data into a spreadsheet. Established time of inundation in existing and proposed hydrographs. Hydrologists were then able to determine the best flood protection procedures to reduce erosion and avoid infrastructure damage. • Analyzed vector relationships between power poles, utility boxes, fences, transformers, a breaker and a building before and after mining related subsidence. Checked land surveyor calculations and incorporated time series movements into AutoCAD and Excel spreadsheets. Communicated with the Farming Electric Utility Systems’ Electrical Engineer regarding our findings. The study ensured that power lines did not encroach on overhead distances in the roadway and reduced the danger of snapped live lines. Increased safety conditions and allowed mining operations to continue without interruption. • Assisted the Marketing Department with updating a Customer Relationship Management database, employee resume updates, client Pursuit, Capture Plan analysis and preliminary project research for the firm’s design/construction strategy. This allowed HDR to stay in contact and maintain relationships with public transportation agencies’ personnel and estimate the probability of winning a proposal. • Wrote summaries of completed projects for several Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) and Proposal (RFP) package submissions. This described to the potential provider a clear understanding of HDR’s knowledge and related experiences.
  • Summit Engineering
    Civil Design Engineer, 2004 - 2007
    • Led, supervised and plan checked two engineer interns’ design calculations for a commercial site development. The interns were able to learn and develop their personal skills as well as perfect the knowledge base for the company as a whole. • Graded parking lots, roadway intersections, detention basins, pedestrian ramps meeting ADA standards, and driveways for commercial and residential sites. These grades provided smooth, safe driving and walking conditions as well as diverted rainwater away from buildings and driving areas to eliminate water ponding and improve controlled flow conditions for safe travel. • Laid out water main, sanitary sewer, and storm drain locations for a new public right-of-way. Utilities were not subject to cross contamination. • Calculated size and flow rates for an underground modular retention basin. The basin reduced project costs by diverting storm water into a subsurface recharge area instead of replacing and up sizing the storm drain within the public right-of-way. • Investigated existing and proposed rational method hydrology and historic sanitary sewer analysis before completing reports containing final design for public and private utilities. The reports determined that the public sewer systems could handle the added capacity after development. In effect the systems were not in danger of overflow and would not cause contamination. • Designed subdivision plot plans and field inspected residential property lots for drainage certification. Some lots required various inspections to prohibit water from damaging homes, retaining walls and draining onto adjacent properties. As a result, homeowners were assured a stable property. • Created SWPPPs for on-site construction. Contractors took the manuals and plans to implement best practices on construction sites. SWPPPs prevented eutrophication of the storm drain system and changes to the stream PH, which protected the aquatic life in tributary bodies of water. • Drafted tentative maps, as built sets, plans and profiles, title sheets, detail sheets, soils boring logs, utility sheets, grading sheets, vicinity maps and site plans. This decreased engineer drafter interaction. By cutting out the middle man the company saved time and money on each project. • Composed Statement of Qualifications and PowerPoint presentations for the City of Reno and the City of Sparks by performing the work of an engineer and a marketing coordinator. • Coordinated with landscape architects, building architects, mechanical engineers, project owners and land developers regarding project updates and design improvements. Consistent communication informed all involved parties of civil improvement changes ensuring work corresponded with the most updated plan. This eliminated frustration and confusion between all parties involved.
  • Kleinfelder
    Materials and Geotechnical Lab Assistant, 2004 - 2004
    • Performed ASTM asphalt concrete testing: Theoretical Maximum Specific Gravity and Density of Bituminous Paving Mixtures; Bulk Specific Gravity and Density of Non-Absorptive Compacted Bituminous Mixtures; Percent Air Voids in Compacted Dense and Open Bituminous Paving Mixtures; Thickness or Height of Compacted Bituminous Paving Mixture Specimens; Mechanical Size Analysis of Extracted Aggregate; Asphalt Content of Hot-Mix Asphalt by Ignition Method. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was then written in a report and presented to the senior engineer. This research prevented defective plantmix components from being placed on the roadway or parking lots. • Conducted ASTM geotechnical testing: Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils. Results were recorded and used to determine if foundations were suitable or needed to be excavated for structure pads.
  • University of Nevada, Reno
    Materials Lab Assistant, 2003 - 2004
    • Assisted with a graduate student research project for asphalt cement concrete. The research studied different options to improve roadway materials by potentially reducing the design life and increasing effectiveness. • Weighed over 100 aggregate samples for different contract mixes. This decreased the time a graduate student spent on basic tasks and increased his time spent on new analysis methods. • Sieved aggregate for gradation. Categorized types and sizes of rocks at a student salary. As a result, this saved University money by eliminating the need of a professor to do basic tasks. • Assisted a graduate student in preparation for class assignments. Added a different perspective to material as it was being presented. Diversified the class assignments for a Construction Material class. • Supervised students in lab (approximately 20) for ASTM testing, relieving the professor from answering one-on-one questions.
  • Nevada Department of Transportation
    Public Service Intern, Materials Division, 2003 - 2003
    • Reviewed historical highway plans for surveyor equation changes. Documented the changes so professionals knew where one road joined another road to eliminate potential confusion. • Revised written contracts from 1930-1999. Updating these records reduced time spent by Professional Engineers researching old records. As a result, NDOT saved money. • Entered data into a Construction History Database. This data could then be searched by anyone who needed quick reliable answers. The data otherwise would have to be collected from another facility, so this reduced hours of time. • Collected data with the falling weight deflectometer. Assisted the technician by determining if existing roadways were resilient or needed to be replaced. This mitigated any chance of failing roads that could later impact passenger vehicles. • Observed and learned the techniques used in Cold In Place Recycling on a section of Bower’s Mansion Road.
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Reno, NV