Home    AECOM    Insight

Learn why civil engineer Casey Barr was inspired to join AECOM

Learn why civil engineer Casey Barr was inspired to join AECOM

 January 16, 2024

 Read time

AECOM's People Spotlight series provides an inside look at its technical experts around the world.

Here, we provide some insight into the inspiration and work of Consulting Manager Casey Barr who works in AECOM's Transportation business in the U.S. East and Latin America region.

An impressive background in civil engineering 

AECOM Casey Barr

Carey uses her background in civil engineering and transportation planning to consult in economic and financial analysis and transportation project development. Her work focuses on the application of quantitative information to support transportation investment decisions. Her grants work has helped clients secure over $650 million and counting, as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has expanded funding options.

Recently, she has worked on financial planning efforts with transit agencies and public works departments to develop transition plans to achieve zero emission vehicle fleets.

Before joining AECOM, Carey worked at the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin, conducting research for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Childhood dreams 

Growing up, Casey played a city-building simulation game in which you design and build your own city, manage resources and troubleshoot problems. "It showed me how crucial transportation, energy and water/sewer infrastructure are to creating a successful town or city and this inspired my career path. Initially, I wanted to be an architect, but since I’m not the most artistically inclined person, I chose to pursue STEM and engineering, and then eventually chose transportation engineering," she shares. 

Improving social outcomes

Looking at her favorite AECOM project, Casey says: "For the past 12 years, I’ve worked on a lot of grant applications that help unlock the funding needed for communities to complete transportation infrastructure and resiliency projects. I love hearing the news that projects have won grants — this never gets old. Local and county agencies depend on these grant funds to move their community initiatives forward and improve social outcomes, and this makes my work extremely rewarding."

A recent example is one of AECOM's municipal clients. They submitted a couple of grant applications on their own but didn’t have the time or in-house resources to complete the extra technical analyses needed with the more complex grant applications.

"With our help, they were able to win three grants in one cycle, including funding for projects to alleviate flooding in low-lying areas. These are also low-income communities, and historically the homeowners have been coping with expensive and frequent flooding in these areas so this grant funding for resiliency will be very impactful for them," shares Casey.

Casey's work positively impacts the community: "We helped the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) craft a grant application for a corridor improvement project in a rural part of North Carolina. Lacking the resources needed to develop a competitive grant application, rural areas are often overlooked for discretionary funding. In this case, we worked alongside NCDOT and local representatives from Rutherfordton and Spindale to shape the grant application around goals for transforming the 2.5-mile corridor into a “complete street” — a more safe, connected and equitable street network. NCDOT was awarded a $20.4 million federal RAISE (Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity) discretionary grant for the project in 2022."

"Improving safety for all residents, constructing a new roundabout and a multi-use path, providing non-motorized transportation choices to help reduce emissions, and increasing access to jobs and affordable housing are some of the goals of the project. Helping connect these goals with funding was a fun part of the puzzle and I’m looking forward to seeing the complete street when it’s constructed,” she says. 

Taking advantage of key opportunities 

Sharing her career advice, Casey advises: "Take advantage of each opportunity offered to you. If it’s a new kind of project or product and no one’s done it before, it can seem a little intimidating, but sometimes these opportunities wind up being the most rewarding. Taking that risk or pursuing that extra degree or professional license might feel like a lot of work, but you’ll be glad you did it. Even when you feel reluctant, push yourself to go the extra mile or take on that new project that’s outside of your comfort zone — it’ll be worth it."

Work for AECOM and help deliver a better world 

Inspired by Casey's work providing positive outcomes for communities?

Many careers at AECOM provide excellent opportunities for giving back. 


Search jobs

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community