Áine O’Dwyer, PE, CEO of Enovate Engineering, LLC, was named to the Engineering News Record (ENR) National Top 20 Under 40 for 2018. Honored earlier in the year with the regional Top Young Professionals award, O’Dwyer was chosen from a pool of more than 400 regional candidates from which 20 winners were chosen.
ENR described the selection criteria as representing “the pinnacle of leadership skills, community service and diversity of the construction industry.” ENR spotlighted the winners in the July 23/30 issue, including their thoughts on important issues facing the industry, such as mentorship, diversity, technology and work-life balance. The publication honored the 2018 Top 20 class in San Francisco prior to their FutureTech event, where O’Dwyer participated in a roundtable discussion on the important issues facing young leaders in the industry today.
Last month, O’Dwyer was recognized by The Irish Echo at their Irish Top 40 under 40 Awards. The Irish Echo is the oldest Irish-American newspaper in the United States.
In her role as majority owner in Enovate Engineering, LLC, O’Dwyer recently underwent a huge effort moving her team and office to their new headquarters in Cranford, New Jersey, and reorganized the company. Under her leadership, the company recently became certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise.
O'Dwyer's experience includes over 10 years in the heavy civil and infrastructure market in both engineering and construction. She is a registered professional engineer in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Delaware and is actively involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Professional Women in Construction, New York Building Congress and American Council of Engineering Companies of NY.
What are your thoughts about being named to the ENR National Top 20 Under 40 list?
I feel incredibly honored to be part of such a talented and accomplished group and am quite inspired by the careers and personal backgrounds of those that I got to share this award with. The experience of spending time with the other 20 Under 40 awardees has been an incredible opportunity to further open my career and personal horizons.
Do you think your NJIT degrees helped you in your career?
Absolutely. I came to NJIT as an international student. Other than my wonderful aunt and uncle who at the time lived three hours away, I essentially didn’t have any local support or structure around me when I first arrived to the states and to Newark. NJIT immediately filled that void, becoming the place where I quickly found my family and friends through the NJIT community. The high bars of expectations in the courses that I took, as well as continually being surrounded by a collaborative work environment set me up for my career ahead. Additionally, I was studying engineering while being a full-time student-athlete during my time there. This helped create a strong structure of discipline and time management, which engrained in me the importance of limited time and efficiency.
Did you enjoy your time at NJIT?
Definitely. I lived on campus all four years of undergrad and my one year of graduate. I loved the campus experience. I was on campus August through May, including winter break due to our basketball season, so I really had the full collegiate experience. There was always so much to do; between campus activities, 5 a.m. practices (which I don’t miss!), jumping on the PATH to New York City for a few hours, post-game “cheat meals” at the Highlander Pub and, of course, buckling down and working. Some of my closest friends today I met at NJIT, and when I visit the campus now, I have a strong sense of nostalgia and wonderful memories.
What was your most memorable moment as a student?
My most memorable moments at NJIT were being part of the basketball team. This entails many moments, so there’s really not just one. Throughout my four years of playing I learned so many lessons that have translated to so many other parts of my life up until today. Whether it’s teamwork, building off each other’s strengths, perseverance when you’re down, enjoying and embracing the moments when you’re up, and ultimately setting and aiming for both short- and long-term goals. There are so many other parts of my life that this has translated to, and I’ll be forever grateful for the lessons that I learned both on and off the court at NJIT. This has played a significant part in helping me to where I am today with having and running my own company. It’s about the team that you’re surrounded with, the hard work that you put in together and no one person’s success can drive this, but rather the combined force of the team.
What advice would you give to students who are planning to pursue a similar career path?
Your time at NJIT will go by faster than you think. Make the most of it. Engage with others and network with industry folk as much as you can. Develop your network wide and early. Not only will this help you as you start out your career, but it will also help you determine sooner which career is right for you. As most people know that go to NJIT, getting a degree in one course opens up so many diverse career opportunities and the sooner you understand the opportunities that are right for you, the sooner you can advance doing something that you love every day.