Meet Flannery Banks
Assistant Engineer of Storm Water and Creeks
3 years with the City of Santa Rosa
Meet Flannery Banks, Assistant Engineer of Storm Water and Creeks for Santa Rosa Water. That means that Flannery is the storm water asset manager and storm water subject matter expert for the City of Santa Rosa. Her duties range from storm drain asset management, long- and short-range storm drain planning, private and public development storm drain design reviews, support the region for questions on Low Impact Design (LID), respond to questions/concerns from the public on storm water/drain, managing repair needs of the storm drain infrastructure, and support emergency management efforts – which all means Flannery has been very busy this winter with all the wet weather. Flannery studied Civil Engineering at Chico State, and after graduation got her start in engineering at a private land development company before moving to a private firm that focused on Storm Water Engineering as well as Biology, Environmental, and Geotechnical Engineering Services. There, Flannery specialized in water resources including river modeling, storm drain infrastructure design, LID design and inspection, engineering construction support, field collection and development of flow rating curves for realigned creeks/rivers, geomorphology studies, geotechnical drilling, and environmental site assessments. After 14 years in the private sector, Flannery was ready to shift gears and transition her career to the public sector, to achieve a greater sense of serving her community. When the position as the City of Santa Rosa’s storm water engineer opened, Flannery thought it would be a great fit for her skill set. Knowing that Santa Rosa is one of the largest jurisdictional agencies, she was excited about the ability to work on a wide variety of projects and gain new experiences. She was also impressed by the diverse and friendly group of people on her interview panel. Now, three years later, Flannery continues to enjoy her work with the City of Santa Rosa. One of the most signification reasons is the management. Flannery feels very supported by the management team, who encourage her and facilitate her growth in leadership. Flannery is provided with opportunities to both hone her leadership skills and play an active role in decision-making, more than she experienced previously in the private sector. Flannery encourages other women to pursue careers like hers. Don’t be intimidated if you are the only woman engineer in the room, a situation Flannery has found herself in from time to time. Flannery’s advice? Be an advocate for yourself. If you feel you aren’t getting the support, networking opportunities, compensation, growth, or leadership that you want, pursue what you can on your own. You can always join professional organizations like American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Works Association, and American Water Works Association for networking and training opportunities. Also, remember that interviewing processes are as much for you to figure out if you want to join an organization as the organization wants you. If you get to the interview process, organizations are interested in your experience and capabilities and now want to learn more about you as a person, your character, and how you approach problem-solving, so let your professional personality shine! When Flannery isn’t busy working, you can find her working out, hiking, running, gardening, learning languages, or any other activity in or around water.