FEATURED EMPLOYEE: Meet Paige Drury: Design Engineer, Humanitarian at Heart
Paige Drury didn’t initially have an interest in engineering. Instead, she had her sights set on a Spanish degree, and, after graduation, moving to a Spanish-speaking country to teach English. But a little nudge from her mom changed everything.
“My mom knew I wanted to work in the mission field and that I was good at math and science,” admitted Paige. “So she took me to a Women in Engineering seminar at Purdue University, which really inspired me to explore helping others through this field.”
“In a way, civil engineering is like non-religious missionary work,” said Paige. “My job, through my eyes, is based on similar values: loving, listening to, and respecting people.”
With an eye toward designing globally coupled with a deep desire to personally relate to the people those designs might serve, Paige began arming herself with the tools needed to realize her goals and passions.
“I’ve always wanted to be fluent in multiple languages and am working to become fluent in Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, and Arabic,” said Paige. “I think there’s something really special about knowing someone’s language. I took Spanish in high school and am competent in the language, and I took a semester of Arabic in college.”
Paige graduated from Purdue University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a focus in environmental engineering, in addition to minoring in anthropology and Spanish. She is currently working full-time while pursuing her master’s degrees through IUPUI in public affairs with a concentration in sustainability and environmental policy and applied anthropology.
“I became a civil engineer because it will give me the opportunity to design for people and the societies they are part of,” said Paige. “I believe people and cultures and communities should be at the table and involved in planning and design. There has been a deficit in community involvement, especially at an international level, which can lead to a gap between the technical knowledge and how people actually interact with the design.”
Eager to help turn the tide, Paige spends her days involved with a variety of sustainable design and green infrastructure projects at V3. But her passion for helping people reaches far beyond her day job.
In her free time, Paige works with immigrants living in Indianapolis through a local program called Starfish Initiative; she has been paired up with a freshman in high school who is a refugee from Burma to mentor her through high school and to be a resource as she will be the first person in her family to attend college.
“I want to learn about other cultures and from people,” said Paige. “Through this program I was paired with a young scholar who I get to help serve for the next four years. There’s a really beautiful tradeoff, learning from one other. I look forward to pouring into her life however she wants me to.”
When it comes to helping others and designing with people in mind, Paige doesn’t just talk a good talk. She walks forward confidently, fueled with a healthy dose of purpose and ambition.