Kodi Verhalen, P.E., ESQ., F.NSPE

Briggs and Morgan P.A.
Member Since: 

Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq.What I do: As an associate, I assist in the representation of clients within the Energy Law Group, which is part of the Business Litigation Section at Briggs and Morgan. I pull from my engineering education and experience on a regular basis.

My education: I received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in 2004. I became an EIT in Minnesota in 2004 as well. In 2006, I enrolled part-time at William Mitchell College of Law while employed full-time; I became licensed as a PE in 2009 while attending law school. I graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law in May 2010 and was admitted to practice law in Minnesota on October 29, 2010.

Biggest professional role model: Dave Morrill, P.E., vice president of McGheie & Betts, NSPE North Central Region director. Dave has built a well-respected professional and personal reputation. He gives back to the engineering community through both professional organizations and through educational opportunities.

In addition to being a valued role model, Dave has been a great source of support to me, from the time I joined MnSPE/NSPE through my current position. He is willing to push and encourage young engineers to speak up so their voices are heard when important decisions are made. And he is not afraid to take the "undesirable" side of an argument when it is something he truly believes in.

What prompted me to get my PE license: Coaxing and encouragement from Dr. Steve Sternberg, P.E., my advisor and professor in the chemical engineering department at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. He encouraged his students to take the FE exam before graduation to be fully prepared for anything in the job market. Although many of us had jobs lined up that did not require a PE, Dr. Sternberg advocated that we take the exam right before graduation so as to minimize potential future limitations.

My hobbies include: Spending time with my long-time boyfriend Tim and our dog Chester; cooking; watching terrible reality television; and reading.

Proudest engineering accomplishment: I have two accomplishments that I'm very proud of: becoming the youngest president to date of MnSPE in 2010, and passing the PE exam while I was enrolled part-time in law school and employed full-time.

My engineering plans for the next 10 years: To continue to challenge myself and the profession. I think as engineers we need to do a better job of promoting ourselves and promoting the reasons why PEs are important to our day-to-day lives and our future. During the next 10 years, I also hope to inspire young students to pursue engineering programs and to take the necessary steps to obtain their PE license. And as both a PE and an attorney, I hope to demonstrate to students and young engineers that having a PE license can be broader than engineering alone.

Favorite movie: It would have to be either Best in Show or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, depending on whether I want to watch a comedy or a drama.

I joined NSPE because: I joined NSPE as a student because I saw the membership as an opportunity to grow professionally and to develop a business network. I have remained a member because I feel membership in NSPE is a great opportunity to give back to the engineering profession and to continue supporting the importance of the ethical practice of engineering. I also feel it's important to be a member of an organization where the voice of young engineers are heard (PEs and EITs).

Something NSPE members should know about me: I am frequently asked if I am an "engineer with a law degree" or an "attorney with an engineering degree." I think I am both. Both degrees are equally important to me and neither independently defines who I am.

My desert island book is: Marley and Me by John Grogan.