Despite her petite stature, one young civil engineer’s success is nothing short of monumental.
On Monday, April 16, NYC Department of Design and Construction resident engineer Ketty Paulino was named ‘Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year’ by the American Society of Engineers Metropolitan Section.
Established in 1991, the award is bestowed to young civil engineers employed in government service for outstanding contributions to the profession.
Since 2017, the 26-year-old Castle Hill resident has managed several Bronx infrastructure projects, most notably a $39 million water main project at Bainbridge and Jerome avenues in Norwood.
Paulino oversees renovations for the West Tremont Avenue Step Street, a 35-foot tall stairway in Morris Heights linking Cedar and Sedgwick avenues.
The project is progressing smoothly, however its proximity to adjacent properties makes Paulino and her team of five to ten DDC employees remain mindful of noise, dust and vibrations while digging near the properties’ foundations.
She is also managing a Long Island City water main project which is nearly complete.
Being 4’ 10” tall and employed in an essentially male dominated field presents many challenges for Paulino.
From assisting her team with unfamiliar assignments to developing strong working relationships with occasionally skeptical contractors, she overcomes the obstacle by remaining professional.
Her steadfast personality and engineering expertise helps Paulino earn the respect of the construction workers she oversees daily.
“Your success in any career depends on your dedication and the amount of time you invest in it,” she explained.
A passion for mathematics and physics as a child paved the way for the Dominican Republic native’s future.
Paulino was born in Santo Domingo to electromechanical engineer Luis Paulino and civil engineer Ana Montilla.
The star pupil excelled in elementary school, graduating sixth grade with honors at nine-years-old.
Paulino was a honor student and valedictorian at Norte Dame Bilingual High School.
She was inspired to pursue civil engineering after volunteering at a concrete plant where her mother worked as a quality assurance engineer.
Paulino helped Ana draft reports and analyze job specifics data.
In 2012, she earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Technological Institute of Santo Domingo.
The following year, Paulino emigrated to the U.S. to advance her education.
She obtained her master’s degree in construction management from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2014.
She volunteered in Paterson Habitat for Humanity’s AmeriCorps Program as an entry level civil engineer for Green Construction Projects.
Paulino said she originally planned to return to DR, but stayed when offered a position as a DDC civil engineer intern in 2015.
“It really was a tough decision for me, but after this whole process I wanted to try having a career here in the States,” she shared.
Two years into her career, she was promoted to resident engineer overseeing a school safety infrastructure project.
That same year, she married Eddy Reynoso, a NYC Department of Environmental Protection inspector.