Tasha Higgins

B.S. 1993 — Civil Engineering

Tasha Higgins developed her love for civil engineering while attending UC Irvine. Once a mechanical engineering major, she changed her major to civil when a professor piqued her interest regarding traffic on the I-405. She changed her major freshman year and never looked back. In college, she was an active member in the National Society of Black Engineers, including serving as UCI chapter vice president, president and West Coast regional membership chair.

Today with three decades of experience in traffic, transportation and construction projects, Higgins has led program initiatives and capital projects through all phases of a project lifecycle. She has worked in multiple industries including ports, aviation, rail and highways. Higgins’ professional career started as a student intern at Caltrans, and she was hired by Caltrans upon graduation. Higgins has worked for public and private firms including the Port of Long Beach as the director of the Program Management Division overseeing a $2.3 billion capital improvement program and Los Angeles County Metro administering the $20 billion Measure R Highway Program. In 2011, she became the founding principal and chief executive officer of HigginsWorks LLC, a successful project and construction management firm. She employed engineers and mentored many to start their careers. Today, she is back with Caltrans working as principal engineer leading the planning, design and implementation of improvements to state and federal highway facilities in preparation for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Higgins obtained her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1993 from the Samueli School of Engineering. She obtained a master of business administration with highest honors from the Cromwell School of Business at Biola University in 2017. She has been a board-certified civil engineer with the state of California since 2003 and a certified project management professional since 2009. In 2015, she developed a curriculum and taught project management principals to unemployed engineers at Southwest Community College in Los Angeles. She was recognized as one of 50 Phenomenal Engineers by the Los Angeles Council of Black Professional Engineers in 2019 and she is also a member of the Leadership Long Beach class of 2022. Finally, in 2023 she was humbled to serve as UCI’s Mace Marshall at the school of engineering graduation.

Higgins’ passion is speaking to young people and encouraging them to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors and careers. She was born and raised in Southern California and lives in Gardena, California. After work she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and their five energetic teenagers, serving in her church, helping her husband run a women and children’s shelter and anticipating her new role as board member of Claris Health.