Page 30 - Colorado Construction & Design Magazine - Spring 2023
P. 30

   by Paul Suter
Claudia Samuel
Taking on not just any challenge.
The phrase “taking on a challenge” is somewhat cliché. But taking on the most difficult engineering challenges for clients that could mean the difference between failure and success, is hardly cliché. It is serious business, and something that Claudia Samuel, CEO and Founder of Samuel Engineering, has never shied away from.
Growing up on the small island of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea, Claudia was able to excel in a nation where education and employment opportunities were limited. As a student, she was fascinated by math and chemistry and, though challenging, she decided to pursue those subjects through high school.
During the last regular year of high school, Claudia took the Ordinary Level (O’Level) General Certificate
of Education Exam, which was administered by the University of Cambridge, England. She passed seven subjects and moved on to pursue Advanced Level (A-Level) studies (post high school; Grade 12+). Not surprisingly, two of those subjects were math and chemistry. Since these subjects were not offered at the Girls’ high school Claudia attended, she convinced the
principal at the Boys’ school, Grenada Boys Secondary School, to allow her to attend where she successfully completed both subjects.
After graduation, since, other than
a medical school, there wasn’t a university in Grenada, she decided
to become a high school teacher,
but always had the ambition to do more. Her brother was a United States citizen and encouraged her to join him in the US where she would have ample opportunities to pursue higher education; therefore, she decided to venture to the U.S. (Colorado). Upon her successful graduation from Metro State University, summa cum laude, with a 3.97 grade point average, in 1990, Claudia worked as an electrical engineer for a large engineering firm, Stone and Webster, where she joined a team working on the environmental clean-up of the contaminated Rocky Flats nuclear site. Based on her performance, the company offered her the opportunity to move to their Boston headquarters and continue her career with them there. However, Claudia had a great affection for Colorado and was also raising a family of her own, so she decided to stay.
She then worked as an electrical engineer for an international heavy industrial engineering firm. We should note that during the period 1990 (when she graduated with her BS engineering degree) to 1995, she accomplished simultaneous feats that few would ever attempt. She worked in engineering, gave birth to 4 children (1991, 92, 93 and 95) and completed her master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado.
The pressures of working for a company and finding childcare for four little ones were mounting, so in 1996 Claudia resigned from her job and took on the challenge of starting her own engineering company, to gain needed flexibility while keeping her engineering skills current.
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