Better Know A Board Member - Charuni Kurumbalapitiya
In this eNews edition, we are getting to better know Charuni Kurumbalapitiya with Psomas.
Charuni spent most of her childhood in Sri Lanka - a tiny island nation that lies in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Growing up in a tropical island paradise (and a former British Colony) meant that her family pastimes were based on the cultural trinity of Ceylon Tea, weekend beach getaways, and Cricket. After graduating high school in Sri Lanka, she moved to California with the help of family and friends to pursue a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Davis.
Charuni started her career as a transportation engineer at GHD, where she worked primarily in traffic operations analysis and roundabout design. As her interest in roadway design continued to evolve, she became engaged with complete streets and mobility enhancement projects at Mark Thomas. She currently works at Psomas on design projects related to highway and transit improvements. One of the key things she enjoys about being an engineer is the project diversity within the transportation industry itself.
Prior to engaging with WTS, Charuni was a leader and board member at the Sacramento Chapter for Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) where she came to appreciate the value of networking within the industry and began to gain exposure to the transportation projects which make Sacramento unique. Earlier this year, she joined the WTS Sacramento executive board to serve as the WTS Chair of Diversity & Inclusion. As the Chair of Diversity & Inclusion, Charuni aims to create a D&I program that celebrates the diverse experiences of the WTS Sacramento Chapter membership and promotes inclusion within the Chapter programs and events.
Charuni finds inspiration in the opportunity to work towards transportation equity in her community. "I love the fact that civil engineering allows me to become engaged in community improvement projects that are designed to not only improve the quality of life for individuals, but also elevate transportation equity within a region. To me, it is fascinating to see how a single infrastructure project has the potential to impact many individuals, and therefore how important it is deliver a project that provides an equitable experience to all."'
Outside of work, Charuni is an enthusiastic gardener and spends much of her time tending to her patio garden. She is also an avid baker and she typically strives to bake one elaborate dessert every month. She also enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and she and her husband love hiking and exploring regional trails within Placer and El Dorado counties.
Thank you Charuni for your dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion within WTS Sacramento and transportation equity in the greater Sacramento area!