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Huey embraces ALDOT’s PCET program for college students

Ashlyn Huey poses for a photo in front of sunflowers.
Ashlyn Huey, a senior at the University of Alabama, is part of ALDOT's PCET program.
Jun 21

Ashlyn Huey is making the most of her summer, and putting what she’s learned in the classroom to the test.

Huey, a senior at the University of Alabama, is part of the Professional Civil Engineer Trainee (PCET) program with the Alabama Department of Transportation and joined the West Central Region in May. She is following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Kenneth Huey, who worked at ALDOT for 38 years as an adjuster providing project estimates.

Huey discovered the PCET program while at the university career fair where she met Kevin Williamson, an ALDOT Preconstruction Engineer. With her strong interest in environmental issues and a desire to stay close to family, ALDOT emerged as the perfect fit.

“I knew this would be a great spot for me,” Huey said, “The people I work with are wonderful, and I really enjoy being able to set my own hours.”

Huey’s current focus within the PCET program is the environmental aspect for road projects. ALDOT aims to ensure safe and efficient travel while preserving and enhancing Alabama’s natural and cultural resources. Every project requires a document explaining environmental impacts.

“I love the environment,” Huey said. “I like that I get a chance to work with people who truly care about the environment and want to make sure everything we do aligns with the highest standards.”

Huey characterized ALDOT’s work environment as one geared toward learning, which she values as a new employee. Although she has more independence at school, she enjoys learning a different side of engineering with the support of her coworkers.

“You won’t know everything, so it’s important to be willing to ask for help,” Huey said. “I’m learning as I go along.”

Williamson explained that the PCET program acts as a long-term interview in the form of a part-time job, aiming to support students through school and eventually place them in careers, whether within ALDOT or elsewhere.

“We have a broad spectrum of engineering fields under one roof,” Williamson said. “There are many different groups doing vastly different work. When meeting a student, I try to get a feel for what they’re passionate about. There’s a lot of opportunity for both us and the student.”

Benji Cantrell, who serves as the Tuscaloosa Area Operations Engineer, started with the PCET program in 2002 and has been with ALDOT for 20 years, apart from a brief period after college. He initially thought it would take 10-15 year to become a project manager but ascended much faster. His time in the PCET program allowed him to explore multiple areas of civil engineering, eventually leading him to construction, which was his favorite.

Cantrell said he enjoyed his time as a PCET and knows it was the right decision. He said he hopes others take advantage of the opportunity.

“My advice to PCETs is to hang in there and learn as much as you can,” Cantrell said. “ALDOT is a great place to work with good people.”

Students interested in participating in an internship program or the PCET program for civil engineers at ALDOT can email for more information. To learn more about careers at ALDOT, go to