SSAO Bridges and Bytes – Winter 2014: Bryan Guy, Stephanie Guy, Walter Scott, and more…

The plan is to release “Bridges and Bytes” quarterly. Please send any feedback or content ideas to Kyle Hoback.

In this issue:

Three Minutes with Bryan and Stephanie Guy

Fall 2014-183Bryan and Stephanie Guy both became Scott Scholars in 2000. Bryan is originally from Hartington, NE and finished UNO in 2004 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He went on to receive his MS in Civil Engineering from Purdue University and currently works for the City of Omaha. Steph is originally from Mullen, NE and finished her MAE in Architectural Engineering in 2005. She works for Alvine Engineering in Omaha.

We’ve been married for 8 years and have 3 girls running around aged 7, 4, and 18 months. We are settled here in Omaha and don’t want to live anywhere else.

We asked our 7-year-old what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said an engineer! When we asked her what an engineer does, she actually threw out a definition that was kind of close! She must be listening to us between ballet and Barbies.

We spend a lot of time outdoors and go camping a half dozen times a summer. We have a rickety old pop-up camper we pull around the area – the Sandhills, Indian Cave, Mahoney, Gavins Point – wherever the weather looks good! As the world becomes more “connected,” it’s important to disconnect every once in a while.


From small non-profit buildings to 50-story high-rises, I get to work on a wide range of projects. As an Architectural Engineer who specializes in mechanical systems, I focus mostly on design of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, and fire protection systems, as well as some project management.

The local projects are fun to work on… I feel like I’m having an impact. With the local projects, I get to meet people in person on a regular basis, and get to know them on a personal level. But, it is fun to travel occasionally too. It’s hard with three little ones, but cool to work on projects in big cities. If anyone is in Chicago in the next couple of years – check out the Chicago River – I am currently working on two 50 story high-rises that are going up across from each other.

I’m looking forward to managing more projects, and taking on some of the management/client relationships of the local market. I also enjoy the opportunity to mentor and help the young engineers in our company learn.

I stay active with the AE Industry Advisory Council and the National Board of Governors for the Architectural Engineering Institute. As part of the Leadership Omaha Class 35 I engaged with a lot of like-minded people and learned a lot about our community. I also enjoy coaching junior high track at St. Margaret Mary. I have been doing this for the past six or seven years and it is very rewarding to see the kids grow and improve with each week.


I was always drawn to the transportation field of engineering. I’m a Traffic Operations Engineer for the City of Omaha and have previously worked for Albeck Gerken and Iteris, both private transportation engineering firms. The private sector was great, exposing me to a wide variety of projects and working all over the country, but travel with three young kids was not ideal for me. It’s great to be in the city more, working in public service, and making an impact in my own community.

How many of you still use DOS-based software and dial-up communications on a daily basis? I bet none, but that is still the platform on which the City’s 1,000 traffic signals operate to this day. However, starting this year, we’re embarking on a plan to upgrade the hardware, software, and communications systems Citywide. This infrastructure will allow us to monitor all the signals 24/7/365, identify problems in real-time, and introduce new types of traffic control features, all of which will result in a safer and more efficient system for travelers.

I currently serve as the Vice President for the local transportation engineering professional organization. It’s a great way to meet your colleagues outside of work-related activities and have some fun. Our group also speaks to high school sophomores about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. Collectively, we have spoken to over 10,000 students in the Omaha and Lincoln areas.

[As a team…]

Get experience and take the initiative to get your career started. Get internships while you’re in school, and network while you’re there. Along with a host of other benefits, you’ll meet a lot of people, some of whom will be your future employers and colleagues.

Get involved in study groups while in school. It’s a chance to get help, but it also allows you to interact with your peers. This team-oriented interaction continues throughout your career – especially as engineers – where you’re almost always working as part of a team.

Good communications skills are often a challenge for engineers but can be a great asset. You will have to work with all types of people (engineers, non-engineers, the general public, politicians). Having good communication is a great way to make yourself stand out.

Shout out that idea in the back of your head. As engineers, we tend to hold ourselves back, but let the creative juices flow. Be innovative. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. It might lead to something great.

Special Reception for Walter Scott

Walter Scott honorSept. 25, 2014Over the last 16 years, the Walter Scott Jr. Scholarship Fund has supported 663 students towards earning their degrees from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO). On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Chancellor John E. Christensen, the Scott Scholar Alumni Organization (SSAO), and the University of Nebraska Walter Scott honorSept. 25, 2014Foundation hosted a special reception honoring Walter Scott, Jr. for his incredible generosity.

The event was appropriately held in the Scott Conference Center on the UNO’s Pacific Campus. In addition to Walter Scott, Jr. and Walter Scott honorSept. 25, 2014three of his children, attendance included many Scott Scholar alumni as well as University of Nebraska Interim President James Linder and a number of Nebraska Regents, UNO faculty, and NU Foundation staff.

The evening started with a social hour and continued with a program led by UNO Chancellor, John E. Christensen. President James Linder began by speaking about the countless ways that Walter Scott, Jr. has positively impacted the University of Nebraska as a whole. The Scotts have contributed to the construction of a multitude of campus buildings including: Scott Court, Scott Conference Center, Scott Residence Hall, Scott Village, and Scott Technology Center as well as supporting many other facilities across the University.

Scott Scholar Alumni Organization executive board member, Kevin Walters, followed by speaking about the amazing opportunity Walter Scott, Jr. provided to hundreds of students through the Scott Scholar Program. Kevin talked about being among the first group of students at the Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) and the Scott Residence Hall before introducing a video from the SSAO.

This video was composed of clips from Scott Scholar Alumni expressing messages of gratitude to the Scott family. Derek Gardels, Lynn Mrsny Griffis, Kristina Wylie, Daina (Morrill) Jones, Ben Jones, and Becker Jones all shared words of appreciation. A number of other Scott Scholar Alumni working at businesses in Omaha and from various cities around the globe also provided a big thank-you to the Scotts.

Chancellor Christensen spoke about Walter Scott’s tremendous influence on UNO. The Scott Foundation has helped propel UNO’s amazing growth and transformation over the last 16 years. Because of Mr. Scott’s amazing contributions, UNO has been able to educate thousands of students in the fields of engineering and technology.

The SSAO then presented Walter Scott and his children with a book containing photographs and personal letters of thanks from many Scott Scholar alumni. Mr. Scott was very touched by this gift and gave an emotional speech about how much the success of each and every Scott Scholar means to him and his family.

Eric Gitt, the President of the SSAO, announced the Scott Scholar Alumni Scholarship Fund as a way for Scott Scholars to come together and focus on reflecting the Scott’s generosity. Mr. Gitt thanked Walter Scott for inspiring so many young minds and challenged the audience to follow Walter Scott’s terrific example by continuing to make a positive impact on their industries, communities, and university.

Chancellor Christensen thanked everyone for attending, and Walter Scott ended the program by enthusiastically telling the group that “you will make a difference!”

Quick Bytes

  • Upcoming Event: Scott Scholar Alumni Social – November 20, 6:30pm at Super Beercade – Benson – 6104 Maple St (casual attire)
  • Scholarship Fund Update: for the 2014 campaign, we’ve received 20 gifts, totaling $1,795 – Contribute a Donation
  • Nancy (McCormick) Melby was named one of Midland Business Journal’s 40 under 40
  • Interested in mentoring the current Scott Scholars? The SSAO wants to establish a formal mentoring program. If you are interested in being a mentor, contact Sheila (Korth) Karpf. Mentors do not need to be Omaha-based, and the expected start date is August 2015.
  • WorkFusion, an NYC-based technology startup, is looking for top IT talent – if you have any interest in relocating to NYC to take part in the finance or e-commerce sectors, contact Kyle Hoback
  • <send over your byte so we can include it in the next issue>

Have anything you’d like to contribute – thoughts, ideas, comments, content? Contact Kyle Hoback.

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