Engineer Robin Thorne Handles Her Business

By Dianne Anderson

Robin Thorne is not a novice engineer, but when it comes to her latest management gig, she’s excited to just get her foot in the door.

She was recently awarded the contract in managing the Long Beach Transit’s modernization project, which involves upgrading their facilities, including a state-of-the-art training center. The Transit is also looking to have zero-emission buses by 2030.

Because the transit company has little knowledge of construction, they hire outside firms like hers to manage the project for them.

That’s where she works her logistics.

We’ll help them identify contractors, we help them create bids, the job walk, whatever they need from us. We’ll manage that construction process. We’ll advise them,” she said. “We make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, in hopes that the second-year contract will increase.”

Her company analyses, and decides how the job is to be done. She has a superintendent, and she’s on procurement. She finds the contractors and others needed to do the work. She hires the right man, or woman.

“The Transit is more of a foot in the door, that’s how you start. But that’s a half-million foot in the door, and I’ll take it,” she laughs.

She also has a project at Long Beach City College campus providing deferred maintenance on buildings, upgrading restrooms, locker rooms, repaving sidewalks, and parking lots.

“Our team is helping them manage it. We’re not doing the work, digging or scraping, we’re the engineers managing the process,” she said.

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