Under the Hard Hat with Ephraim Baclagan

At Atkinson, we are proud to be made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and talents who thrive and succeed together. Our “Under the Hard Hat” series is designed to showcase the diverse people who make up the Atkinson team.

Atkinson is proud to support our Asian-American employees employees and stands firm in our commitment to fostering an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and empowered to be their full, authentic selves. 

We recently sat down with Ephraim Baclagan, a project engineer on our I-5 - Steilacoom-DuPont Rd. to Thorne Lane - Corridor Improvements project to learn about his background and time with Atkinson.

What is your role at Atkinson? 

As a project engineer, I am responsible for developing and executing work plans for our structures team, updating and forecasting the project cost report, managing and coordinating project survey needs, updating the CPM schedule, working on owner and subcontractor billings, and helping with project close-out.

What occupies your time outside of work?

Most recently, I’ve become addicted to tennis! It started as a quarantine hobby last year but has since taken over my weekends (and some weeknights) with tournaments or pickup games. Also, I’ve been running almost every day to reach my goal of running 1,000 miles this year!

Tell us a little about your background and how you ended up at Atkinson.

Originally born in the Philippines, my family moved to the Bay Area when I was seven. It was a struggle initially moving to a new country and learning a new language, but I eventually made friends and grew up playing sports, video games, and skating all over San Lorenzo, California.

After graduating from high school, I attended San Francisco State University and majored in civil engineering. During my last year of college, I interned with the Port of San Francisco.

After graduating and spending time as a field engineer with a heavy civil company in San Francisco, I joined the Atkinson team in the Pacific Northwest.  

What advice do you have for someone looking to get into the industry?

Be ready to hit the ground running and do not hesitate to ask questions. Absorb as much knowledge from others with more experience, but do not fear putting forth your own ideas.

Who has been your strongest influence in life?

The strongest influences in my life have been my parents. They’ve worked so hard and sacrificed so many things to create better opportunities for my two older brothers and me. I am now just a few years younger than my parents' age when they moved us from the Philippines to California, and I can’t begin to imagine what they had to go through to make that move with three kids. They are the hardest working people I know, and they motivate me to always put in my best effort in anything I do.

What are you most proud of accomplishing, either personally or professionally?

I’m most proud of graduating college with a civil engineering degree. The proud looks on my mom and dad’s face as I walked the stage was worth all the long, sometimes all-night, study sessions. For me, that was my way of proving to my parents that all their hard work and sacrifices paid off.

What does "Thrive as You, Succeed Together” mean to you?

Everyone brings something different to a team, and if everyone works hard to better themselves as individuals, the team will flourish.