My Name Is... Heather Hilgers

Roaming civil engineer with roaming kids

Posted 2/12/18

Airport builder I’m a mother of two and a civil engineer. I enjoy working really hard. I work at airports, building runways, taxiways and terminal buildings. I’ve worked at tiny airports in …

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My Name Is... Heather Hilgers

Roaming civil engineer with roaming kids

Posted

Airport builder

I’m a mother of two and a civil engineer. I enjoy working really hard.

I work at airports, building runways, taxiways and terminal buildings. I’ve worked at tiny airports in Wyoming that have like a dozen based aircraft. I work at DIA right now, but I’ve worked at all levels in between.

We work a lot with the airports, their clients and the Federal Aviation Administration. We do a lot of work around safety, and working with general aviation carriers one-on-one.

It requires a lot of coordination, because we have to work our construction around their active operations. It’s more working with people than you might think, in terms of coming up with what’s important to them and how to wrap that into our projects.

The most fun I had was working part-time at DIA and part-time at the tiny airport in Evanston, Wyoming. It was both ends of the spectrum, every week. I got to see what big airports need, and what their capabilities are. Small airports, however, need everything — they need you to write their grants, coordinate with their tenants, as well as be their engineer.

Free-range kids

I’ve got two daughters, 7 and 9 years old, in school at St. Mary’s Academy.

My approach is hands-on. Experience life yourself. Mistakes are good. Learn every day.

I love St. Mary’s. It’s a real community-based school. My kids are able to translate school friendships to where they can run free in the neighborhood. That’s how my childhood was, and we’re lucky to have friends who ascribe to the same hands-on approach where we can give the kids a longer leash.

Prairie girl

I grew up in Burlington, on I-70 and the Kansas state line. Life was slow. There weren’t a lot of extracurriculars, so I was a bookworm. My first job was at Dairy Queen.

Burlington is so tiny. Growing up, I hated that everyone knew my business, but when I was done and ready to go off to college, but there was a sense of community pride when I went off to college for engineering. It’s the same thing I love about St. Mary’s — a tight-knit community.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is, please contact David Gilbert at dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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