An incredible journey

From following a family tradition, to forging her own path in the world of civil engineering, Megan Elberts has continually made great strides in her career — and she's poised to make her next giant leap.

Megan Elberts

Megan Elberts credits firm's success to measured progress

From following a family tradition, to forging her own path in the world of civil engineering, Megan Elberts has continually made great strides in her career From following a family tradition, to forging her own path in the world of civil engineering, Megan Elberts has continually made great strides in her career — and she's poised to make her next giant leap. and she's poised to make her next giant leap.

In 2017, after nearly a decade working as a water resource engineer, Elberts (BSCE '06, MSCE '08) and her business partner, Lisa Gasperec, created Gasperec Elberts Consulting — a civil engineering, construction management and land surveying firm based near Chicago.

"It's an incredibly exciting time for us right now," Elberts said. "We have been slowly establishing ourselves and making measured progress over the past three years. We've managed to successfully move forward with our plans to run the business we want — and we're looking to grow even more in the future."

Elberts has her eyes set on building up her business to become a full-service consulting engineering and surveying firm. Another point of pride in her business, Elberts said, is that it is both a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and a Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

"As a growing firm, every day brings new challenges, and as engineers we strive to learn from them in order to continue our success." Elberts said. "We are very proud of our growth in our first three years, and look forward to building on our successes."

While much of Elberts' focus is on the future, she is certainly more than happy to reflect on her past. Growing up in a Boilermaker home as the daughter of Chris Burke (BSCE '77, MSCE '79, PhD '83, HDR '10), Elberts can recall attending many Homecoming breakfasts and Purdue Football games. Her mother, aunts, uncles and cousins also all attended Purdue.

"I try to come back as much as I can and catch the games and the omelets," She said. "It's always been a very fun tradition — for both my family and the school."

The family tradition continued as she enrolled at Purdue and pursued her degree in civil engineering. At Purdue, Elberts said she maintained a strong interest in civil engineering, but what really made the decision "click" for her, she said, was her urban hydraulics class.

"That class was definitely a big turning point for me," she said. "I started to really understand what I wanted to do and that I wanted to earn my master's degree."

Following graduation, Elberts worked as a water resources engineer for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning before moving on to work for Christopher B. Burke Engineering. Then, about three-and-a-half years ago, she partnered up with Gasperec to start their own company together.

"It's been such an incredible journey up to this point," Elberts said. "I've been fortunate to have great teachers and mentors along the way — and I hope to be one as I continue to move forward."