Women’s History Month – Q&A with Metrolink Engineers

We had the pleasure of interviewing a few of our engineers to ask them about their experiences in their field. A reported 86% of engineers are men. Here are a few good and talented women working hard for the betterment of Southern California.


Deborah Suazo-Davila has been an ace problem solver as one of our Railroad Civil Engineers for three years. She’s not afraid to use her voice and believes in stepping outside of her comfort zone to address challenges. She’s inspired by her family to break gender barriers and encourages women in the workforce to do the same by pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones. 

What do see as the future of rail post-pandemic?  

I see the future of rail booming post-pandemic because there is going to be a high demand to transport goods and to provide safe transportation for our communities. People are ready to get out and have some sense of normalcy.  

Who has helped you the most? Who do you look up to?  

My grandma and mother helped me the most by encouraging me to be my best, to study and to never give up. They also taught me to always use my voice and seek out opportunities. Additionally, my dad instilled in me that engineering is also for girls and got me my first engineer’s pad (a notepad for computing and calculating engineering problems). And finally, my husband, who is also an engineer. Through him, I’ve learned to be resilient and always follow my dreams.  

What challenges have you encountered professionally as a woman? 

Today, women are still underrepresented in engineering. I read from the Society of Women Engineers that in our country only 14 percent of engineers are women and I’m part of that 14 percent. Engineering is a male-dominated profession and finding my voice as a woman in my career has had its challenges. 

However, in my journey as a woman railroad civil engineer, I’ve learned that I HAVE A VOICE. My voice is valuable and needs to be heard. The same goes for other women in the industry. During projects, I had to be confident and speak up if I wanted to see progress. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone. As a result, my voice has led me to where I am today. I believe in the power of our voice and I work every day with this in mind, “If not for me then for those who come after me.” 


Wearing many hats, Elizabeth Lun is a wife, mother of two and Metrolink Civil Engineer of over seven years. She’s guided by her faith and is encouraged by her work family to push herself in this male-dominated field. She is committed to her family and career and believes that both require heart.  

What do you see in the future of rail post-pandemic?  

I envision families utilizing rail for more leisure activities versus commuting to work. I was encouraged to see that reflected in our recent customer survey as well. As we make progress in offering improved rail services and connections throughout the day and make our trains cleaner and safer, our service will attract more families with children who want to take the train. The train is certainly my family’s preferred mode of transportation when we travel. 

Who has helped you the most? Who do you look up to?  

To be completely honest, God has been the greatest source and help in my lifetime. Other than that, many people have shaped and guided me throughout my career, including my colleagues and supervisors. They’ve inspired me to push beyond my limits and I’ve learned so much from them.  

What challenges have you encountered professionally as a woman?  

My greatest challenge has been balancing the demands at work and being a good mom to my infant and toddler, especially during the pandemic. Both require commitment and heart. A woman’s role in caring for children is much different than that of a man, and we often need to be flexible with our jobs. I know there are many women out there who have mastered both without jeopardizing either; I’m going through that refining process now.


Meet our Senior Civil Engineer, Maria Brandt. A Metrolink employee for four years, Maria is not afraid to roll up her sleeves, put on her hard hat and get the job done.

What do you see in the future of rail post-pandemic? 

I believe we are using the opportunity of the pandemic to develop our infrastructure at a faster speed to help us to have a more reliable infrastructure system in place as we emerge from the pandemic.

Who has helped you the most? Who do you look up to?

I can’t point at one person who has helped me the most. The Program Delivery team consists of a great group of people who are always ready to support and help me when needed. 

What challenges have you encountered professionally as a woman?

I work primarily on the civil and signal projects, which is the construction phase of the track, and I may get a little more push back from the contractors in the field than my male colleagues.

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