The sparkling new Bay Bridge pales next to vibrant senior field engineer Katherine Quillin.
"People ask me, 'Are you really an engineer? You aren't boring,' " said the 33-year-old Kentucky native.
Quillin has no time for tedium, anyway.
She is the day-to-day conduit between the operations bosses and the construction superintendents charged with building the world's largest self-anchored suspension bridge.
It's her job to know what every crew member is doing, how long they will be doing it, where they go next and, well, the list goes on.
Her workplace strategy is a hearty serving of plain talk served with a dollop of Southern charm and a pinch of steel.
"I work with a great group of guys but if I have any trouble, I take names," Quillin said.
The daughter of a cattle rancher and an emergency room nurse, Quillin discovered engineering in the eighth grade.
"But I didn't want to be an engineer who sat inside all day," Quillin said. "I wanted to be outside building really big stuff."
She got her wish.
Quillin has another request: To have her family with her when the new Bay Bridge opens.
"They don't have a choice; they have to come out for the opening," Quillin said. "I told them, 'I've been to all your weddings and all your baby showers. I feel like I am about to give birth to a $6.4 billion bridge and you are coming.' "
-- Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Job: Senior field engineer, American Bridge-Fluor
Bay Bridge work: She coordinates day-to-day crews, serving as the pipeline between operations management and the construction superintendents. She previously worked on the skyway.
Advice: "I have a big 'give respect, get respect' policy. I call the men 'sir' and 'gentlemen,' which throws them off! But it is pretty simple: If I am kind and nice to you, then I expect you to do the same for me."