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Employee Spotlight: Annie Prothro, Project Studies Engineer

Annie Prothro currently serves in Location Studies as project studies engineer. A 28-year veteran with the department, she previously served as survey technician, construction inspector, plats and plans technician, and quality control/quality assurance plant inspector.

Here are some of her thoughts about her job and life outside of IDOT.

What is your current job at IDOT?

My current job entails performing Phase I studies for proposed transportation improvements. Phase I is preliminary engineering. Depending on the complexity of the project and the characteristics of the surrounding environment, various analyses are performed to identify the preferred improvement. The data gathered, study result and recommendations are documented in a project report.

What’s the most important impact of your work?

The most important impact of my work is the recommended improvement that results from the Phase I study. Project plans are produced based on the findings and recommendations discussed in the project report.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

It is hard for me to choose between crash analysis and public involvement. Crash analyses give insight into what occurs at a location from a safety perspective, while public involvement gives context to what the general public feels are key issues. I believe these elements combined ensure a more well-rounded way to address project needs.

Anything to highlight?

I would like to help develop internship and co-op programs to increase interest in the field of civil engineering. Currently, I am re-evaluating a past internship program to see how we can make changes and implement it to motivate graduating high school and college students to choose careers in transportation.

What prepared you for your current role?

I received my undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University. I have also taken some graduate courses, as well as many on-the-job training courses, that have allowed me to further develop as an employee.

How do you contribute to your profession and community?

At work, I mentor civil engineers in training. During my free time, I also tutor high school and college students in math and science. Since I have four children, I spend a lot of time volunteering at our junior high and high school.

What do you like to do outside the office?

I love to read, bowl, travel and play volleyball, but mostly I love to spend time with my family.

Anything else you’d like people to know?

I have some of the best coworkers. Every day is not easy, but there is always someone there to bounce ideas around with or to simply tell a joke. This positive work environment makes for a more cohesive work unit.