Having earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Systems Engineering from Iowa State University, Graduate Engineer Bailey Griffin brings a specialized skillset to the civil department at ISG, helping provide partners and clients with innovative water quality solutions on a wide variety of projects. Bailey carries her passion for the water outside of the office as well, and on summer days can be found boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, or fishing at her family cabin on Lake Jefferson.

What is it about the Architecture and Engineering field that intrigues you?

One of my strengths from Strengths Finder 2.0 is ideation; I’m fascinated by ideas and able to make seemingly disparate connections. That is fitting because it’s one of my favorite things about engineering—being able to take an idea or theory, apply it to problems that our clients may be facing and seeing it come to fruition.

How did you decide to study Biological Systems Engineering?

I had always enjoyed and excelled in math and science so I started researching areas of STEM. My passion for the environment and design made biological systems engineering the perfect fit for me as I got to learn and build my career around water resources, water quality, and systems engineering.

How do you work to deliver solutions?

I work on the water resources team at ISG. On a day-to-day basis I work on providing solutions to clients on projects including drainage improvements and repairs, wetland restoration and banking, modeling, and drafting. The things I enjoy most about these projects is promoting the inclusion of water quality solutions and being able to identify multi-purpose solutions that improve water quality and drainage simultaneously.

What’s a particular experience that caused you to grow?

Working at ISG is my first job out of college, and I have been able to learn so much already. By providing the environment to be independent and grow personally and professionally, ISG has allowed me to take my career into the direction I wish and pursue new projects that I am passionate about. One of the first projects that I got to work on at ISG was developing the Alternative Side Inlet (ASI) Calculator. Being able to take the initiative on this calculator so early on in my career was a wonderful opportunity in itself, but it also provided me many opportunities to present at conferences to build my confidence in a product that I was really proud of and grow as an engineer and public speaker. The calculator is a publicly available tool and I hope to expand its use in the future.

What’s an Alternative Side Inlet, and why does it need to be calculated?

Alternative side inlets replace the out-of-date traditional side inlets by using simple, yet effective design using a drop structure and water quality-focused intakes. The calculator is an Excel-based tool that helps properly size ASIs to slowly drain water within a 24-hour time frame to promote temporary storage and sedimentation along drainage ditches, which improves water quality while not damaging crops.

Other than ASI Calculator, how does ISG exemplify ingenuity?

Apart from ISG’s extensive experience and expertise in drainage, what truly sets us apart is our willingness to deliver on innovative projects and practices, such as leading the industry on storage on drainage systems and building one of the largest bioreactors in the world. Trying new things allows us to grow as a firm, as well as push boundaries in the industry. Our eagerness to partner on research projects and grants further demonstrates our collaborative effort towards improving water quality.

Who inspires you? Why?

My mom inspires me. She has always been my role model growing up and she has molded me into the person that I am today. She is a selfless, hardworking, and great mom!

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