Congratulations to Catherine Pastoor, PE, SE on winning the 2022 Structural Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington (SEA-MW) Rising Star Award! The Rising Star Award is given in recognition of an individual’s positive impact on the profession of structural engineering, as well as the community and world around us. On Saturday, February 25, 2023, Catherine was presented with her award by SK&A Senior Principal Walid Choueiri, PE, SE during the SEA-MW Awards Gala held at St. Francis Hall in Washington, D.C.
Catherine Pastoor, PE, SE is a working mother of three, a contributor to the community, a role model to other engineers of all ages, an award-winning athlete, a dedicated professional, and was recently promoted to Associate at SK&A Structural Engineers. Yet, for all her accolades and achievements, she is best known for her approachability and for generously giving her time to others, both inside and outside the company.
In an industry where individuals are often reluctant to ask for help, Catherine spearheaded a cultural shift towards vulnerability. Always one to reach out to new staff as well as aspiring future engineers, she led by example in seeking help when needed and encouraging others to do likewise. The result has been an ever-improving culture of collaboration and inclusion.
In addition to mentoring numerous new staff in-house, Catherine has been active in several STEM community outreach programs. She partnered with other women of SK&A to create a structures-building and wind-load-impact training activity for the Washington Architectural Foundation STEM fair event: How Women Work in the Design and Building Industry. 125 girls participated, including several Girl Scouts who were able to earn patches for their gummy bear, toothpick, and play dough creations. Catherine has also been a group mentor in the Phelps ACE Academy program and mentored high school interns in Elizabeth Seton’s Learning Engineering and Design (LEAD) program.
Catherine’s broader community service work throughout her career has included involvement in numerous charitable organizations. She spearheads the company’s annual Salvation Army Angel Tree program to provide Christmas gifts to children in need. She has competed in and served as chairperson for SK&A’s team at several JDRF events to fundraise for type-2 diabetes research. She’s even led teams of runners for American Odyssey relay races, benefitting Hope Connections for Cancer Support and Team Red, White and Blue for wounded veterans.
Professionally, she serves on SK&A’s Concrete Technical Committee and has contributed to the structural design of numerous notable SK&A projects, including the award-winning International Spy Museum in L’Enfant Plaza, The Ascent Uptown in Charlotte, NC, and 1812 Broadway in Nashville, TN. Her project experience spans residential, office, retail, parking, and specialized structures.
Catherine earned her Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and her Bachelor of Engineering from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, she was on the Varsity Women’s Tennis Team and was the National Winner of the Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
Originally from Greensboro, NC, Catherine and her husband, Devin, now live in Rockville, MD with their little girl (age 3) and two little boys (one age 5 and one just 9 months old), as well as their dog Rex, a Boxer/Australian Shepherd mix. Their favorite family activities include exploring different playgrounds, harvesting local produce at “pick your own” farms, and hiking the many trails throughout the region.