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International Women's Engineering Day

on Wednesday, 23 June 2021.

International Women's Engineering Day

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day this year, the following TriVector engineer women were asked the following questions in regards to being an engineer, and here’s what what they had to say:

Carolyn Bakke

  • Q: What type of engineer are you?
  • A: Software
  • Q: What drove you to become an engineer
  • A: I loved math and solving puzzles and logical problems. After talking to a career counselor at Mississippi State, we determined that Computer Science might be a good fit, and it was!
  • Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
  • A: Finding the root cause of a software or data problem and fixing it.
  • Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to young girls or other women who aspiring to become an engineer?
  • A: There are so many types of engineers and industries of application. Don’t let that overwhelm you! Pick one and start! The basics are the same across all of them, and you have plenty of time to specialize!
  • Tina Melton

  • Q: What type of engineer are you?
  • A: I’m working as a Subject Matter Expert in Human Factors Engineering
  • Q: What drove you to become an engineer?
  • A: I really like doing technical work and solving problems. I’ve spent most of my career working in payload operations preparing astronauts and experiments for operations on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. I like the fast pace of these activities and being involved in the middle of what we’re doing in space. Realtime operations is not for everyone but I like developing and then executing a plan and managing the response when things don’t go exactly like you planned. There’s nothing like being in the control room for a launch or other major space activity.
  • Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
  • A: I love to learn about how hardware works and how people will operate that hardware. That plan may look good on paper but how well will it work in the environment where it will actually be used whether that’s in space or at the launch site. Understanding all the details and how they work together is very interesting to me.
  • Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to young girls or other women who aspiring to become an engineer?
  • A: Do an internship with a company in the area you’re interested in. That gives you a chance to get a good look at the reality of the kind of work you’re aspiring to do and gives the company a chance to see what you can do and see if you’re someone they would be interested in hiring in the future.
  • Sharon Wiegmann

  • Q: What type of engineer are you?
  • A: I am an Aerospace Engineer
  • Q: What drove you to become an engineer?
  • A: I was always fascinated by the stars and outer space as well as airplanes. In high school math and sciences were my strong subjects so I decided to pursue engineering with the hope to work for NASA one day.
  • Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
  • A: My favorite parts of my job are working with other people on the team to reach solutions to problems and to see a design come to life and perform its mission.
  • Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to young girls or other women who aspiring to become an engineer?
  • A: Science and math are key courses in high school to prepare for an engineering degree and college will teach you methods for solving complex problems of the real world.
  • Katherine Spencer

  • Q: What type of engineer are you?
  • A: I have a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technical Management with a minor in computer science. This degree is not recognized as an Engineering Degree unless reviewed and accepted by a Companies “Engineering Standards Division”. I was fortunate to be reviewed by Boeing in 2000 and after review of my math, chemistry, physics, and computer classes, (and grades), I was accepted as an engineer and could be place in job descriptions which required a formal engineering degree discipline. I have always been asked are you Electrical or Mechanical my whole career. I do not answer and just let them get to know my work and work ethics. I am a NDIA Certified Configuration Manager. I studied for and passed an specialized Test that I can put on my resume and is often a perquisite for being hired as a Configuration Manager for Government Programs.
  • Q: What drove you to become an engineer?
  • A: I put myself through school. I attended UNA for two years and returned to Huntsville to work for Sperry making Blue Line copies of engineering drawings. Sperry paid for my classes and books. By the time I graduated in 1987 I had over six years of experience in purchasing, logistics, manufacturing, and CAD drawing management. Helping Engineers do the detailed work became my passion. I love the confidence in knowing the latest and greatest configuration. I transferred to General Electric to work on a Navy Test Fixture contract (CASS). I was able to build one on the first Parts List applications that integrated into the CAD systems. It was so rewarding and they called it TREE.
  • Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
  • A: Working with very highly educated people that are dedicated to the process of good systems engineering.
  • Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to young girls or other women who aspiring to become an engineer?
  • A: If you always put things in order of importance, skip over religion, family, health, food, water, etc., always put what is best to complete a contract first. Do not hoard information, do not continue to do things the same old way that do not make sense, learn and study new technology that would be better for the contract. Be detailed and respectful, complete the contract you are on and the next contract will somehow always find you.
  • Melinda Naderi

  • Q: What type of engineer are you?
  • A: I am an Industrial Engineer, working in Flight and Ground Operations and Human Factors for the majority of my career.
  • Q: What drove you to become an engineer?
  • A: Beginning at a very early age, I always enjoyed building things and solving problems.
  • Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
  • A: My favorite tasks have always been geared towards hands on tasks, developing flight and training hardware, designing man-machine interfaces and building mockups. I also enjoy mentoring young engineers in these areas.
  • Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to young girls or other women who aspiring to become an engineer?
  • A: Just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you accomplish your goal. Do everything you can to participate in internships and rotations to different areas to discover what you enjoy.
  • TriVector is proud to have these amazing women on our team as they truly offer the experience, performance, and value that TriVector represents. Happy International Women in Engineering Day!