Nikolaou was pleasantly surprised when she was named a 2017 WSP Technical Fellow of Earthquake Engineering in recognition of her technical innovation, dedication to her profession and global leadership in her field.
“Since I arrived at the firm, I have felt welcomed and appreciated by our engineers and staff who are proud, but down to earth, with a team spirit that recognizes the hard work of everyone involved with a project. I enjoy the opportunities of consulting fellow engineers regarding seismic aspects of their projects in a wide spectrum of markets around the globe,” she said.
“Now reaching this level of technical recognition among an impressive and outstanding group of candidates is humbling and shows how much this organization appreciates people that have devoted their professional life to being the best they can be,” she added.
Nikolaou said mentoring was one of the criteria the judges factored into their decision. She acknowledged having the good fortune to have tremendously talented mentors in her life, and now she tries to pay it forward with the young people that she mentors.
“The only way we truly move forward is by getting the younger generation excited about what we do and how we do it,” Nikolaou said. “Leadership for me is not counted by how many followers you have, but by the ability to inspire and help create new leaders. Get out of your comfort zone, express your ideas, and see if your ideas can be incorporated into projects and become a reality.”