Anyone, 5 years of age and older, is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Find your nearest vaccination location at vaccines.gov.

Back to Blog

Employee spotlight: Region 5 Engineer Kirk H. Brown

Kirk H. Brown, the new regional engineer for Districts 8 and 9 in the southern part of the state, has been with IDOT more than 30 years. All of them have been with District 8 headquartered in Collinsville.

Throughout his time with the department, Brown has taken on a variety of roles, from construction, resident engineer to project support engineer handling railroad, utility and local agency coordination, to program development engineer for preliminary engineering studies.

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

What does your current job entail?

The Regional Engineer is IDOT’s point of contact for nearly all transportation network issues for the region. Working with and through our excellent staff, we plan and prepare road and bridge improvements and maintain the existing system in acceptable condition for all users.

What’s the most important impact of your work?

Every day, millions of people we may never meet depend on our network to get to work, home, school, recreation, and to exchange goods and services. Most of them will never know the vast work behind it, or that each individual’s efforts combine to make daily life better for everyone.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Helping other people solve difficult problems. Best of all is when we can resolve problems before they happen or have a chance to grow. I enjoy the positive feedback from those we’ve helped, and I always try to extend thanks to our staff who are accomplishing our mission.

Anything to highlight that you plan to do at IDOT?

I look forward to supporting and renewing programs that have helped us succeed in the past – internship and co-op programs with our local schools help us develop the next generation. Also, developing and growing our current staff and improving collaboration between our units for the challenges of the increased program and travel demand.

Anything to tell us about your department?

Some may not know the time and effort it takes to get a project through the preliminary engineering phases to construction. Project studies can take years to complete. But these vital documents show our due diligence to respect and protect the environment, historic and cultural heritage, and environmental justice communities. By the time a project gets to construction, it has been thoroughly reviewed for conservation of our vital assets.

What education, experience or special training has prepared you for your current role?

I’m a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., as well as the Professional Advancement of Career Engineers and Executive Leadership Development Series here at IDOT. The formal education was vital, but the learning continues every day alongside my coworkers. I’ve learned management on the job and feel best when I know our staff have what they need to do their jobs well. I try to make sure that they do.

Beyond your regular work duties, what do you do to contribute to your profession and community?

I really enjoy sharing our profession with young people who may have little idea about engineering and STEM careers. Activities like Engineers Week, career days and programs that introduce STEM fields to the next generation are always rewarding. I’ve participated in several of these efforts over my career, along with other volunteer efforts such as Scouting and coaching youth baseball.

What do you like to do outside the office?

Travel is my favorite pastime, especially with family. I love sports. Football is my favorite, whether college or pro. Even better than watching is the rare chance I get to play a friendly game of touch or flag football. I enjoy fishing when I can, usually once or twice a year.

Tell us something most people would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m adventuresome when I get the chance. I enjoy roller coasters, have done zip lining, kayaking and pad­dleboarding. I jumped from a 30-foot cliff into the ocean in Jamaica. A few years ago, I did a tandem skydive for the first time. If anyone wants to join me next time, let me know!

Anything else you would like people to know about you?

I really do love my job and what we do here. I try to enjoy each day and help others do the same. If I’m smiling or kidding with colleagues, it’s to try and help someone else enjoy the day just a little bit more.