NEWS:

Employee Spotlight: Ben Jensen, PE May 10th, 2017

I was born in the year of the Horse (1978) in Provo, Utah. I am the second of four siblings and have an older brother and two younger sisters who were adopted from Seoul, Korea and the island of Kiribati (pronounced kiri-bas) in the Marshall Islands. I grew up in the house my grandfather helped build and where my Mom spent part of her later childhood. In the complex socioeconomic strata of Provo, I believed we were living on the poverty line for a good portion of my childhood due to the fact that the Osmond families lived in the residential benches both above and below my own.

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I had a relatively uneventful upbringing and eventually landed a coveted spot in the local private university, BYU. Prior to beginning my undergraduate degree I spent two years in a proselyting mission in the Dominican Republic. My mission years are some that I value and treasure greatly and helped to open my young eyes to the world around me. I no longer carry any delusion that I had ever been poor.

I married my high school sweetheart months after returning from the Dominican Republic, and we welcomed our first son while I was in my final year at BYU. Our second son was born months after we moved from Utah to Boise, Idaho, and my wife deserves most of the credit for raising our kids in a loving, creative, and supportive environment. While engineering is my passion, the adventures and experiences I have shared with my wife and kids have been the most rewarding.

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I obtained my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering after 5 years due to working full time while in school and attempting both Accounting (that’s a different kind of math!) and Construction Management for a short period of time. I began my career in Utah at a middle-size civil engineering firm specializing in all disciplines relating to transportation. When I accepted the job offer I mistakenly thought I was being hired to do water resource engineering since that is what I had highlighted in my interview. While I was occasionally presented with opportunities to try alternative disciplines, it didn’t take long in roadway geometrics to realize I had hit on a personal passion. After 10 years my passion has deepened and intensified.

A desire to be closer to my wife’s family brought the four of us to the Central Coast four years ago, and we regularly marvel that we serendipitously ended up in a place that neither of us was familiar with prior to my interviewing with Wallace Group. While we had previously vacationed in Solvang, and secretly wished that we could end up living in such a destination, we never really imagined we would live in such beautiful and diverse place and with friends and colleagues that we truly care about!

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  1. Describe what you do at WG – As a transportation engineer, I work on a variety of multimodal projects and enjoy the unique functional and geometric aspects of each one. From the safe navigability of an intersection or roundabout for cars, bikes, and pedestrians to the system-wide planning support of large highway corridors, I am passionate about all aspects of our local transportation system.
  2. What are some of your favorite activities with WG? – Kayaking, Pismo Preserve hikes, working…
  3. What are you involved in outside WG?
    1. Charities – Safe Routes to School, Family Care Network (ie – MM4K
    2. Organizations – ASCE (Vice President)
    3. Service groups – Love participating in Rotary service projects when I have a chance
  4. Favorite pastime – Surfing, tennis with my family, brewing (and drinking) beer with friends
  5. Favorite movie – Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  6. Favorite food – Sushi and…Nachos…
  7. Describe your dream vacation – While I have had opportunities to visit various locals in North America someday I hope to do the whole European vacation (Spain, France, Italy, Germany, UK).
  8. What’s your favorite childhood memory? - Opening our Nintendo one Christmas morning and building bike jumps with my brother and friends.
  9. What’s your secret ability? I was a daily skateboarder during my high school years and can still occasionally land a 360 kickflip
  10. What is the furthest away from SLO have you been? – The Dominican Republic (do I win anything..?)

 

 

 

 

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