Karen Christine Armfield, P.E., F.ASCE, manager of the geotechnical department in AECOM’s New York City office and a leader to civil engineering students locally, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Armfield has been an associate vice president at AECOM since 2008. Her technical leadership role at the firm is in the development of technical quality in her staff and their projects. Encompassed in her work is the design of multiple types of facilities, among them bridges, tunnels, airports, power facilities, ports, and public parks, including emergency repair. Some key examples are Jet Blue Terminal at Kennedy Airport, New York Container Terminal Intermodal Facility in Staten Island, Gateway Tunnel EIS for Amtrak, and various wind farm towers in upstate New York and Brooklyn Bridge Park, in Brooklyn.
Her junior engineers emulate her demonstrated values and skills, and her 18-year career at AECOM has been exemplary. She has been instrumental in strengthening the careers of civil engineering students and young members of the profession through her involvement in, for example, administering the intern program at AECOM, assisting the development of ASCE National’s e-mentoring and section/branch mentoring programs, and working to develop ASCE National’s Supercharge Your Career educational series. She has served nationally on ASCE’s Committee for Advancing the Profession, Committee on Leadership and Management, Committee on Career Development, and, currently, the Engineering Practice Policy Committee.
Most notably, Armfield has been the committee lead at the local level for the middle school STEM program Future City Competition, where students work with engineer mentors to design a city of the future. Through her involvement, over a thousand middle school students in the New York City area have gained knowledge of the critically important role that civil engineers serve in society and in the progress of the city around them.
Beyond her work with students and young engineers, Armfield contributes to her specialization by co-authoring technical papers relating to foundation design and ground improvement, 15 of which have so far been published and present her expertise on several notable engineering designs.
Lastly, she is an adjunct professor at NYC Technical College, in the Civil Engineering Department. She has been teaching Soil Mechanics to undergraduate students since 2004, including both the technical lecture series and the laboratory soil experiments. Since 2015, she has also taught a course on Temporary Structures in Construction.