Archived Story

Miller named Engineer of Year

Published 9:56am Monday, April 9, 2012

Freeborn County Engineer Sue Miller was awarded top honors last week by the National Association of County Engineers.

Sue Miller

Miller, who has worked as a civil engineer for 21 years, was named Engineer of the Year during an annual honors banquet Wednesday in Lexington, Ky. The association gives the award to one rural engineer and one urban engineer each year.

“It was pretty emotional,” Miller said. “It was quite a night.”

Miller was nominated by the Minnesota County Engineers Association, which nominates one engineer each year for the award.

She said her husband, Albert Lea Parks Superintendent Joe Grossman, was present for the ceremony along with several engineers with the Minnesota County Engineers Association and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

“It’s a wonderful honor for her, very well deserved,” said Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever. “As a county administrator, it’s a privilege and an honor to work with Sue Miller as an engineer and Sue Miller as a person. I’m just happy for her. It’s great.”

Kluever said Miller has a continued ability to grow as an engineer, and he looks forward to seeing her progress. He also noted her understanding of many issues and the foresight to navigate through challenges.

Miller, who served as president of the National Association of County Engineers in 2008, began her career as an assistant engineer for the city of Albert Lea and began in the late 1990s as engineer in Freeborn County.

Out of all of her responsibilities, she said her favorite part of her job is being a servant for the public.

“Whether we’re trying to replace or reconstruct a bridge or resurface a road, we’re doing the work of the people,” she said. “That’s an enjoyable part of my job.”

During her time in Freeborn County, Miller noted she has had the opportunity to take part in several safety improvement projects, including installing wider pavement and edgeline rumble strips and developing a systematic approach to improving the county’s roads.

“We’re seeing less serious injury crashes overall, and I think that’s great,” she said. “I think every county engineer first and foremost lives for the safety of the residents there.”

Miller is tentatively scheduled to be recognized for her award during the May 1 Freeborn County Board of Commissioners meeting. Representatives from the Minnesota County Engineers Association are expected to be present.

“I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to serve here in the county, at the state level and at the national level and that the county board has been supportive,” she said.