Jennifer T. Kennedy recognized for commitment to engineering outreach and mentoring

Jennifer Taeuber Kennedy, who was recognized as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year by the ASCE Florida Section
Jennifer Taeuber Kennedy, who was recognized as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year by the ASCE Florida Section

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department congratulates Jennifer Taeuber Kennedy, who was recognized as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year by the ASCE Florida Section.  This award followed her nomination by the ASCE Northeast branch, which also named her Young Engineer of the Year for Northeast Florida.  In recognition of her many achievements, the Jacksonville Business Journal also named her one of its 2020 class of 40 Under 40 honorees.

Kennedy, who is a Transportation Engineer with HNTB in Jacksonville, graduated from FAMU-FSU through Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in Spring of 2010.  She manages the HNTB Jacksonville Office’s Transportation System Management and Operations (TSM&O) team, including projects for FDOT, Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, and local municipalities. She’s responsible for a variety of traffic engineering and transportation planning projects ranging from data collection on corridors and hurricane evacuation routes to developing roadway improvements and recommendations for all roadway users (motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and freight). Most of the work performed includes using technology to reduce congestion and increase safety while maximizing the efficiency and operation of our transportation systems. This includes different technologies in signal control, connected and autonomous vehicles, and pedestrians and bicyclists' safety. Jennifer’s work is highly visible, and she works closely with the community and agency stakeholders while developing solutions to fully understand their needs and explain solutions so that they are easily understood.

Kennedy serves as the president of the Jacksonville Branch of ASCE and has held numerous other offices over the past several years.  According to past branch president and nominator Brett Manzie, Kennedy is especially talented in advancing the civil engineering profession and promoting women in engineering. “She has been involved in many outreach programs including ASCE’s Multi-Region Leadership Conference in 2015 (when we originally met),” Manzie said.  “She has hosted outreach events for the Girl Scouts. She ran the Miami-Dade West Point Bridge competition for middle and high school students for several years and was involved in talks at many schools and organizations involving K-12 students. Jennifer organized and volunteered at several ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering’ events and has been involved yearly in scholarship fundraisers—including the bi-annual PE review where proceeds go to UNF scholarships. She also started a yearly homeless veterans donation drive in Miami that provides homeless veterans with the personal care items needed to get back on their feet.” 

Nationally, Kennedy has been active in the Committee for Advancing the Profession and DiscoverE/National Engineers Week task committees for the American Society of Civil Engineers since 2015, serving as the chair of the DiscoverE/National Engineers Week committee for two years. Through the committee, she assisted in the development of MacGillivary Freeman’s Dream Big: Engineering Your World film activities for teachers and students. During COVID-19 lockdowns, Jennifer took an active role in revamping these activities for home use for the STEM@Home program. In the words of Brett Manzie, “Jennifer is a dedicated and passionate individual who is committed to making the First Coast a better place to live, work, and play.” He further states that “she wants to show young engineers and kids considering engineering, especially women, that it is possible to have a career that you love and still have a family.”