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LA Structural Designer Appointed to Board of Structural Engineers Association of Southern California

Jun 30, 2023
Araceli Abanilla

Araceli Abanilla, a structural design engineer in our Los Angeles office, was recently appointed to the board of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC). SEAOSC announced the appointment last month and Abanilla will officially begin her two-year term in July.

Abanilla initially joined SEAOSC through its Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE) committee. As part of the committee, she organizes networking events, webinars, and symposiums. She also helped develop WiSE’s mentorship program, which SEAOSC has now expanded to all of its members.

“Since I saw a statistic that only 17% of structural engineers are women, I’ve been committed to driving more representation and visibility for women and people of color within the profession,” Abanilla said. “This is a shared goal amongst my colleagues on WiSE. We’ve worked towards having a seat at the table at SEAOSC monthly meetings and in the industry overall. As a woman and Filipino-American, I always think about representation. My goal is for it to be normal to see people like me in engineering, especially structural engineering.”

At STV, Abanilla is a senior structural design engineer on major transportation and infrastructure projects, including the LA Metro Purple Line Extension, the San Francisco BART extension to Santa Clara, and other light rail expansions throughout the U.S. and Canada. She was also part of the firm’s inaugural DEIB Council.

Abanilla previously served as an alumni career mentor at UC San Diego and an ACE Mentor at Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, introducing high school students to structural engineering as a career path.
“This is also an opportunity for me to understand more about the diversity of the structural engineering profession and I’m excited to explore how this opportunity will help STV grow,” Abanilla added. “Being part of STV and SEAOSC has taught me that at the core of what we do, we’re serving a community. Whether it’s a bus system or rail station, it’s important to always keep in mind who the project is for and how it will better serve a community.”