10 Questions with Michael Nishimura

What do you do for your job?
I assist in the development of project plans and in project management for maintenance and rehabilitation projects of levees within the Delta. I mainly use AutoCAD to develop project designs. I also survey in the field using GPS equipment and build surfaces in AutoCAD.

How did you get into engineering?
In high school I was in an engineering club called MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement). I won 3rd place in the state for a windmill design I created, which was the highlight of my high school career. My teacher/mentor encouraged me to consider engineering as a career, and since I liked building things, he recommended civil engineering.

What is the best part of your job?
I get a great mix of being in the office and in the field. I have sat in board meetings where project funding was discussed, and a budgets were approved for levee projects. I grew up fishing in the Delta and served some of the landowners a beer when I was a bartender. When I am out on site and look out at the water it's like coming full circle.

What is special about the place you grew up?
I got to grow up with a mix of different people from different cultures, a true melting pot.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
Cuba. It was like time traveling to the 1950s/60s. The culture there is very warm, and they don’t spend too much time on material things.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?
Having kids and watching them grow.

What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with that you just don’t get the point of?
Craft beer. Coors Light’s my favorite, there I said it.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Travel to another country and see the way other people live. It makes you check yourself and how you've been existing.

Who has impressed you most with what they have accomplished?
Elon Musk, he will be on Mars soon.

What job would you be terrible at?
Hand modeling.