From Italy to New York, AECOM Manager and Mentor a Worthy New Face

January 27, 2017
Marilisa Stigliano
Marilisa Stigliano

Not yet 30 years old, Marilisa Stigliano is already a leader among leaders.

A project controls manager for AECOM in New York City, Stigliano devotes time each week as lead of a team of deputy project managers that advises project managers around the metropolitan area.

“It’s been an incredible experience for me,” said Stigliano. “I love being a mentor for the deputy project managers.”

“It’s incredible how much the market has changed in only three years when I was looking for a job. Now there’s a boom in the construction industry. I really love sharing all the different things I’ve learned and getting their feedback.”

ASCE recognized Stigliano’s work by selecting her as one of the 2017 New Faces of Civil Engineering – Professional.

Stigliano, A.M.ASCE, grew up in a small town in southern Italy, where her father Antonio owned his own business, focused mainly on water treatment plants and reusable energy. It was during a high school art class that she connected her father’s work to her own career ambitions.

“We were studying Roman aqueducts,” Stigliano remembers. “And I told my parents, ‘When I’m grown up I want to make Roman aqueducts. My father laughed and said, ‘This is actually what I do.’”

Stigliano went on to study at the University of Rome La Sapienza, earning a master’s degree in structural engineering. She moved to the United States four years ago and earned a second master’s – in construction engineering and management at Columbia University.

“My father really wanted me to go into water instead of structural, but he’s very proud of everything I’m doing,” Stigliano said.

With good reason. Stigliano joined AECOM as an engineer risk analyst in 2014 and conducted assessments for multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, including the Riyadh Metro in South Arabia. She also took on project controls manager reins for the NYC Build It Back program, assisting thousands of families rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.

But every Friday, she turns her attention to a weekly meeting among her deputy project managers.

“We’re in constant communication,” Stigliano said. “I think project management is typically about understanding all the different things that go together – cost control, schedule control, quality. You see all these things in different buckets. The most difficult thing is to take a step back and see the big picture.

“The very first advice I give to the new hires is to build your network within the company. It’s a large company that offers opportunities basically anywhere in the world. Your hard work will earn people’s trust, and open you doors. The most important thing is people.”

ASCE will honor Stigliano and all 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering at the 2017 OPAL Gala, March 16, in Arlington, VA. Tickets are available now.

See a complete list of ASCE’s 2017 New Faces of Civil Engineering – Professional, and read about the 2017 New Faces of Civil Engineering – College.

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