Girl Day in Engineering Week 2015

Dolls aren’t for every girl.

When people ask Sarah, one of our transportation engineers, about girls in engineering, she always thinks of a picture from her childhood where she is holding a toy truck.

Sarah knew from a young age what her passions were, but according to Discover Engineering, studies show that the average girl doesn’t know what engineering is, thinks engineers need to be exceptional at math and science and believes engineering is difficult and challenging.

At The Kleingers Group, we recognize that women bring another perspective to engineering and can help change the world with their creative ideas.

In recognition of Girl Day during Engineering Week, The Kleingers Group talked to some of our female engineers about some of the traits that make a good engineer and why the career can be rewarding.

Can you think of scenarios at work where your curiosity has helped you excel?

Asking good questions has helped me learn the most about engineering (technical aspects) as well as the client relations aspects.  It’s always better to ask questions and learn rather than to assume or sit and stew about something on your own. – Jennifer

When I design roads and sidewalks I try to imagine myself using them.  Where is it best to cross the street?  Where will I want to see signs to help me navigate the streets while I’m driving?  If there is a hill or curve in the road, will I have enough time to stop if something is on the other side? – Sarah

As a new engineer, there is so much I still have to learn.  I get to work with and learn so many things from engineers who are true experts in their field with a deep understanding of the problems I’m faced with.  The world of engineering is filled with so many different challenges though, that even the seasoned engineers see new issues all the time.  While I learn new things and start to master the basics, these seasoned professionals are also constantly expanding their knowledge base.  It makes me excited to work in a field that is always evolving and changing! – Katrina

How do you use creativity every day?

There is a ton of room for creativity and problem solving in my work every day.  I get to look at problems with an endless number of solutions and find the best possible way to solve them.  Sometimes the best solution is a tried and true method, but more often, a creative solution turns out to be the most effective way to tackle the issue. – Katrina

Projects are like puzzles and no two are alike.  Each project contains the same major pieces, but they each fit together differently.  Sometimes getting the puzzle pieces to fit together requires us to be creative and think outside of the box to find the solution.  – Megan

Engineering is all about solving problems—technical or other. I use creativity daily in setting project priorities and dealing with the multiple personalities involved in a design, from clients to internal staff to reviewing agencies.  – Jennifer

How do you use teamwork inside and outside of the firm?

Teamwork is woven throughout everything I do daily.  A project involves many, many people from the client to the design professional to the review agency.  We are one team working toward a common goal.  An atmosphere of collaboration is imperative to developing a quality product.  We use other team members to help create the deliverable and also check each others work. – Jennifer

When designing roads, I have to think about what’s under them, not just what I can see.  I need the help of people at the utility companies to make sure I don’t interfere with their pipes running underground, or to figure out the best place to relocate their pipes, if necessary. – Sarah

Every day I work with members of my team in the office to produce drawings as efficiently as possible.  Every member of my team has different strengths: some are best at organization, some are best at teaching, and some are best at designing.  By working together with a shared sense of purpose, we develop our individual skills by learning from each other to ensure the quality of the final product is the best it can be. Site design is only one piece of the larger puzzle of overall site development.  As a site engineer, I work with many other people—including architects, engineers, and developers—outside the firm to accomplish the overall goal of building something great.  While designing the site, I have to keep in mind the implications my design has on the other team members and their pieces of the puzzle.  Every member of the team works together to make sure all of our designs coordinate and we deliver a product our clients are excited about. – Katrina

In what ways do you solve problems in your field of work?

Being able to be organized and effectively assess priorities is a daily problem solving exercise for me.  One phone call can change the entire plan for the day and you need to manage that issue while not adversely impacting others. – Jennifer

We solve problems each and every day whether we realize it or not.  Today we may solve the problem of balancing earthwork on a site, tomorrow it may be fixing a drainage issue. – Megan

In your everyday work, how do you help others?

Engineering by definition helps others as we are service providers.  We create the built environment for the public to enjoy.  We protect public safety.  We assist clients in financial gains. – Jennifer

I help others by creating safer driving conditions and safer places to walk and ride bikes. – Sarah