The theme for WE17 is Always Connecting…Always Engineering. You cannot attend a WE conference without forming connections, and we know that engineering is more than just a profession…it’s a mindset and outlook that defines who you are and how you think.
So, in anticipation of the largest conference for women engineers, we’re asking our members how they’re Always Connecting and Always Engineering in their lives.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California-Davis
"Call me your unorthodox engineer. For some people, engineering ends when they close the books or when they clock out of work. I am always engineering from the moment I wake up – maximizing my time to get ready in the morning, ensuring that my water quality meets the standards-and if not, how can I improve the water system?
Engineering has permanently changed my lens on life. I am always looking to innovate from a new lipstick shade, to creating a makeshift solution to my bike, and how to engineer my life holistically. My genetic engineering has made me unique – a first-generation, multi-racial American and college student. My average day is filled with constant engineering. When I play tennis each morning, I think about the design of the racket, the aerodynamics of hitting the ball, the spin produced by a stroke, and the speed/velocity of a serve.
I go to UC Davis, which means my sole mode of transportation is via bicycle. I love to ride my bike with no hands, which I have to learn to keep my body in equilibrium, and make myself and my bike as fluid as possible. I also love playing a game of how late can I leave my apartment and still make it on time to class, which means optimizing my path to class-choosing the most efficient path.
While I may still be studying engineering from a textbook, I find the best experiences and learning opportunities come from being hands-on. I take advantages of my internships (hard hat and vest). I consider engineers to be the greatest servers of the community. We constantly look to improve the social well-being, health of the public, and improve our happiness.
I've interned with Pacific Gas and Electric Company for three summers and I know that my work ensures the lights stay on all the time, high-pressure gas is being delivered safely, and protecting the environment. My passion, above all engineering, is green engineering and sustainability. We have one earth; any action we do will impact everyone and everything. I love driving out to work sites to visit hydroelectric facilities, seeing the wind turbines produce energy for people, and innovating new solutions.
Being an engineer enables me to be adventurous; I've been able to fly helicopters to help monitor pipelines, which is extremely exhilarating. I don't see a tree or an empty field; I see biomimicry. I don't see and mope in another traffic jam; I find all possible routes to improve the traffic flow and reduce air pollution.
Being just one kind of engineer does not limit your ability to continuously learn about new things: politics, cooking recipes, coding, reading a new book, building your own car, baking cookies, or even using sand to power something. I breath engineering, I see engineering, and I dream engineering. I AM a product of engineering."
Tell us how you’re Always Connecting…Always Engineering with #AlwaysEngineering. Tag @SWETalk on Twitter and Instagram, and @sweorg on Facebook.