employees, families and friends participate in Duluth’s dragon boat race each summer

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Michelle Kimble

Senior Civil Engineer

Michelle with her daughters
Michelle Kimble was always good at math and science, and her grandfather instilled in her an interest in how and why things work. She was also the first person in her family to graduate from college—an expectation created by her parents. While she originally planned to become an aeronautical engineer, she quickly discovered that she enjoyed civil design and water resources engineering classes a great deal more.

After graduation, Michelle worked on traditional site-development projects at her first two jobs, but rarely got the satisfaction of seeing the end product of her labor. When she joined Barr, she realized that designing and constructing projects that conserved a natural resource held more appeal.

“I love seeing projects I worked on being built and enhancing the communities they are built in,” said Michelle. “One of my first projects at Barr involved rainwater gardens in Burnsville, Minnesota. My role was small, but it opened my eyes to what could be done.”

More recently, she served as the project engineer for a stormwater retrofit of the parking lot at the Maplewood Mall.

“It was fun and challenging solving problems and brainstorming with a big team,” said Michelle. “I learned so much that can be applied to many other projects. You’re constantly learning at Barr.”

There are some problems, she admitted, that can’t always be solved—at least not in the way a client might envision.

“You have to be honest and upfront about what can and can’t be done,” she said, “and offer other solutions and alternatives.”

Michelle also gives back to her local community by volunteering at her two daughters’ schools.

“I have given talks to classes on stormwater and erosion control and am amazed at what the students already know,” said Michelle. “In the future, I’ll probably talk about women in engineering to encourage the next generation.”

Michelle does, however, take a few breaks from engineering. She enjoys camping, biking, and traveling with her family as well as attending live music concerts with her husband, reading fiction, and scrapbooking.