Business Center

Intern Success Story: From Intern to CDOT Chief Engineer

By Michael J. Shull, CDOT Process Improvement Intern
Posted: Feb. 24, 2017

joshua laipply

Joshua Laipply

If you have ever considered recommending someone for an internship position within CDOT, or you are considering one yourself, the story of CDOT Chief Engineer Josh Laipply might be of interest to you.

With more than 20 years of civil engineering experience, Laipply oversees integrated transportation program development pertaining to planning, engineering, design, and construction. He spent many years earning a seat with the executive management team at CDOT, beginning with an engineering internship in 1993.

Night Asphalt Overlay Project

Laipply spent three summers with CDOT's construction division as an intern while pursuing an engineering degree at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. One of his first assignments entailed working a night asphalt overlay project on 6th Avenue between Federal and Wadsworth in Lakewood. He worked a series of construction projects during three consecutive summers, recording and observing the construction process while incorporating his growing knowledge for engineering.

After graduation, Laipply pursued another engineering position in the private sector, leading to full-time work as a consulting engineer. He worked as a consultant in the private sector for more than 15 years, designing and managing transportation projects all over North America.

Strong Culture, Strong People

One of the most valuable takeaways that Laipply took from his internship was the drive and devotion of government teams. Many people have the misconception that government employees don't work as hard as private sector employees. This misconception paints a foggy picture for motivation and drive. Laipply experienced quite the opposite. "Some of the folks that I work with at CDOT work as hard as anyone that I have ever met," Laipply said. Internship positions are unique here at CDOT. Nonetheless, what remains consistent is the culture. "There is a nice part about CDOT and the state government—that there is a little bit more thought about the people side" of the organization, according to Laipply.


When asked to describe the culture at CDOT in one word, Laipply chose the word "service." Driven to become the best DOT in America, CDOT places a strong emphasis on taking care of its people—both internally and externally. When people are valued, they are often driven to deliver service excellence. Such factors are present here at CDOT, making it a wonderful place to grow your career. With devotion and perseverance, your internship might help you advance your career to the executive management team at CDOT.