Chirath "Chuck" Karunathilake

Outstanding YMF Officer
Nominated Categories
Outstanding YMF Officer
Other Categories

Contributed to ASCE Society Award: 2018 Outstanding Younger Member Large Group Award
Graduated with Honors, Cum Laude – BS Civil Engineering 2015

Additional Files
Additional Information

Candidate Information

Chirath "Chuck" Karunathilake
ASCE Member?:

Mark Thomas
16795 Von Karmen Ave,
Suite 240
Irvine, CA 92606


California State University, Long Beach – BS Civil Engineering, (2015)


Chuck Karunathilake is a Design Engineer at Mark Thomas with more than three years of experience in Transportation Design & Construction. His experience includes serving working on both design and construction sides for highway & transit structures for Caltrans, Port of Long Beach and Orange County Public Works. Below are prominent projects in which chuck has had an important role in.

101 Freeway Widening – Santa Barbra County
Chuck currently works as a design engineer for this Caltrans project where he works on Complex Stage Construction and Traffic Handling and Drainage Design. Chuck has played a crucial role to bring this project to 95% Design Completion withing budget and on time.

Silverado Canyon Bridge Widening Over Ladd Creek – Orange County Public Works
Chuck is the Design Engineer for the Silverado Canyon Bridge Widening Over Lad Creek in Rural Orange County. He helps design the geometrics and stage construction for the project.

New Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project – Long Beach County
Chuck worked on the New Gerald Desmond replaced project, a 1-Billion-Dollar Historic Design Build Caltrans project with Shimmick Construction from 2014 to 2017. He had the opportunity contribute to the project as Civil Team Engineer where he was the Project Engineer for Cal Trans Permanent Roadway & Barrier Construction, Drainage Installation and Temporary Stage Construction/Traffic Handling coordination with other disciplines within the project. After two years, he was responsible for 20 million dollars of work on the Engineering Construction Side in which he coordinated with multiple day/night time crews, superintendents and foremen to complete critical items of work.


Chirath “Chuck” Karunathilake exemplifies what it means to be an ASCE member.  Never have I met a person so passionate, dedicated, and willing to put in so much time into an organization such as ASCE.  Not only is he a great example as a YMF (Younger Members Forum) in the Orange County area, but an exceptional leader as well.  Chuck, being Past-President, and me being current President, I look up to him as what I strive to be as a great leader.  He has all the qualities of a great leader, and I hope to achieve a fraction of what he has accomplished during his time in the OC YMF.  Having been a member of the OC YMF for over five years now, I have seen many people come in and out of this group.  We have had many great members and have always had a strong e-board, but Chuck goes beyond and above the status quo.  I have not doubt that one of the reasons we achieved the award as the 2018 Younger Member Group Award for Larger Groups was because of Chuck’s involvement with the organization. 

Chuck’s involvement goes beyond YMF.  He is also a member of CYM (Committee of Younger Members), YMLS (Younger Member Leader Symposium), and involved with the branch level of the ASCE Orange County section.  There is no doubt in my mind that Chuck is the best representation for the award due to his continuing involvement, positive attitude, and amazing work-ability with other, in and outside of ASCE.

Another thing Chuck possess that positions him above others is his ability to listen.  He takes every comment or questions from every person in to consideration for the future of the group. Whether it be during a meeting, a one-on-on sit down, or during a fun networking event, and makes sure it gets relayed to the appropriate personnel or incorporated with the group.

Please feel free to contact me for any further questions or comments about Chuck.
-Ryan Hankes
-ASCE OC YMF President

Contribution to the Profession:

-ASCE CYM Corresponding Member (2018 to Present): Assist Committee of Younger Members who oversee all YM’s in ASCE with Younger Member Leadership Symposium Planning and Execution, Western Regional Younger Member Council Planning and Execution

-ASCE OC Branch Social Committee Co-Chair (2017 to Present): Work with a team to host ASCE OC’s Annual Awards Ceremony, Golf Tournament & History Heritage Student Scholarship Night.

-ASCE OC YMF Past President (2018 to Present): Coordinate Member Recognition, Mentor and provide advice and feedback to the executive board for YMF Activities.

-ASCE OC YMF President (2017 to 2018): Helped lead an amazing team of dedicated younger members. We hosted 6 Community Service Events, 6 K-12 Events, 5 University Outreach Events, 2 Government Relations Events, Mentorship Program, PE Review Sessions, Speaker Series and 28 other events.

-ASCE OC YMF Vice-President (2016 to 2017): Part of the team that won the 2018 Outstanding Large Group YMF Award.

-ASCE OC YMF Programs Co-Chair (2015 to 2016): Set up technical tours and speaker presentations for the local engineering community.

-ASCE OC YMF University Liaison (2015 to 2016): Coordinated with CSULB as Liaison with YMF and Branch.

-ASCE CSULB Student Chapter Co-President (2014-2015): Led a successful team and hosted many community service events and professional development events for our membership. Won Outstanding Student Chapter in OC award.

-ASCE CSULB Concrete Canoe Project Manager (2013-2014): Won third place in Aesthetic Design at the PSWC Conference

-ASCE CSULB Concrete Canoe Construction Manager (2012 to 2013)

-Chi Epsilon Member (2014 to Present): Recently presented a technical workshop at the regional conference.


Chuck has been involved in helping the community and giving back since his time college. He was involved in many similar organizational efforts during college such as the CSULB SWE Womens Engineering day, MAES Science Extravaganza day and SHPS outreach events to local middle and highs schools.

Chucks main efforts in civic contributions can be identified in his passion for STEM. He always have a passion to inform the community around him about opportunities in STEM. One of the largest and most fulfilling volunteer events recently that chuck participated was when ASCE OC hosted 200 local middle and high school students to watch the ASCE Dream Big Movie. Additionally, he has participated in ASCE OC’s annual beach clean-up, and for the last three years he has volunteered to be a mock interviewer and resume workshop panelist for ASCE OC’s local universities. One of the most memorable volunteer experience was when he helped plan and execute the Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition for K-12 students in Anaheim. This event hosted 20 Schools from Los Angeles and Orange County school districts where the participating teams from the schools built a popsicle stick bridge, presented on it and tested it on a loading machine. Where he got to talk to the student teams and teach them basic engineering principles and techniques for improvement.

Suggested Award Summary:

As a Civil Engineer Chucks journey has been quite unique. Chuck joined Shimmick Construction in 2015 after graduation, a Heavy Civil General Contractor where had the opportunity to work on a 1 Billion Dollar Historic Design Build Caltrans Project at the Port of Long Beach; The New Gerald Desmond Bridge Project. He had the opportunity to work with the Civil Team where he was the Project Engineer for the Caltrans Permanent and Temporary Roadway & Barriers while also been the coordinator for Temporary Stage Construction and Traffic Handling. After two years, he was responsible for 20 million dollars of work on the Engineering Construction Side in which he coordinated with multiple day/night time crews, superintendents and foremen and other construction disciplines. Almost a year and half ago chuck joined his current employer Mark Thomas as a Design Engineer. Within his time at Mark Thomas Chuck has had the opportunity to work as stage construction/ traffic handling & drainage designer for the 101 Freeway widening through Santa Barbra, the 60 Freeway Widening through Potrero and OCPW Silverado Canyon Bridge Replacement over Ladd Creek.

Chuck attended California State University of Long Beach for his BS in Civil Engineering. During his tenure in he started with the Concrete Canoe Team at CSULB ASCE and eventually became a Co-President for the Student Chapter his Senior Year. After Graduation he continued his involvement with the local YMF group in OC where helped with the University Liaisons Team, Programs Team, Speaker Series Team and eventually led the YMF as President in the 2017-2018 Term. He is currently still active within the YMF Level while also contributing his efforts to the ASCE OC Branch level as a Social Committee Co-Chair by helping plan the Annual Golf Tourney, Awards Ceremony and History Heritage Student Scholarship Night.


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