Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Julia Green, '05 CE


Julia Green

1. What brought you to Auburn and to major in civil engineering?

I always enjoyed learning math and science growing up; it just came naturally to me. I found it exciting to discover solutions to problems, so I knew engineering was a good fit for me.  I also knew that Auburn University has an excellent engineering program. I had visited the campus several times and felt a true connection with Auburn. Auburn has a spirit and excitement about it like no other university.

I decided to major in civil engineering because the idea of serving the public felt extremely rewarding. I was also drawn to the broad spectrum of career paths that the civil engineering discipline offered. Particularly, I chose the field of environmental engineering because I was interested in a career where I could help preserve our natural environment for future generations.

2. Tell me your story about your path since graduation regarding your career?

Prior to completing my master’s degree, I made sure I had a job lined up, but I held off beginning my new career too quickly. I had been employed and enrolled in classes for six straight years without a summer off, so I resolved to spend the summer after graduation in Europe. I took a whirlwind three-week tour of western Europe visiting England, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France. Once I returned to the states, I was recharged and ready to start my first post graduate job. I accepted a position at MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, (which is now known as AMEC) as a staff engineer.  As my career progressed at MACTEC, I became a project engineer and was responsible for environmental site assessments and remediation of contaminated facilities.  I was given the opportunity to oversee projects both in the field and from the office.  Working in consulting shaped my appreciation for the many facets of project management.

In 2011, I was offered an opportunity to join Southern Nuclear Company. At Southern Nuclear, I was responsible for environmental compliance and permitting for the construction and future operation of Vogtle 3&4 nuclear power plants. Vogtle 3&4 are the first new nuclear power units being constructed in the United States in more than 30 years.  This was the largest project I had ever been a part of; a $14 billion capital investment that will provide clean, safe, and reliable energy to more than half a million homes and businesses. It was extremely exciting to be part of a project that involves innovative nuclear technology with huge implications for the future of energy generation in the U.S. and around the world.

I recently accepted a position at Southern Company in the Research and Environmental Affairs Group as a climate and environmental strategy engineer.  I am currently responsible for the development, coordination, and communication of Southern Company’s overall environmental compliance strategy. Development of the environmental strategy includes working with a team to determine impending environmental regulations that will impact Southern Company’s generating fleet, researching potential emissions control and compliance technologies, estimating the cost and schedule for compliance, and evaluating the economics of these decisions.  This role has provided me the opportunity to see the “big picture” with regards to the future of energy policy and planning in the U.S.

3. How did your Auburn engineering education prepare you for what you are doing now?

My education at Auburn has helped prepare me tremendously in many ways. Engineering is all about problem solving and efficiency, as well as teamwork and communication.  The professors at Auburn truly stress the importance of these skills, whether it be through exams, experiments, or design projects. They also apply real world examples to explain engineering problems.  Graduate school furthered this preparation by teaching me to manage a project on time and on budget, while performing trial and error experiments, and enhancing my technical writing skills.

4. What advice would you give civil engineering students at Auburn?

Work hard, play hard. Earning high grades pays off in the end, but enjoy your time and create memories while you are there as well.  Also, get involved on campus - join a club, technical organization, or a community service group.  The relationships you form and the experience you gain are invaluable.

5. What is your favorite Auburn memory or War Eagle moment?

There are so many memorable moments from my time at Auburn so it is difficult to choose a favorite. However, it may be because it was my first football season at Auburn, but our 2001 defeat over Florida has always stood out in my mind.  Florida was ranked number 1, an assumed easy victory over the Tigers. The naysayers gave us zero probability of winning, but true Auburn fans always hold out hope. It was the fourth quarter and tensions were high.  Damon Duval kicked the game winning field goal, and the crowd roared.  Auburn had just achieved the “impossible.” I learned throughout my years at Auburn that nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to Auburn football.

Last Updated: 5/17/17 10:40 AM