Westwood Celebrates Women In Engineering
Women at Westwood are doing amazing work in shaping the world to be a better, safer, and more innovative place to live in! Technicians, project managers, graduate engineers, directors, and interns across engineering fields help to design exciting and functional neighborhoods as well as renewable energy and energy distribution projects to keep our world moving forward.
We asked our team to share why they got into engineering and what they love about their work.
I love building things! Like most engineers, I was a LEGO master as a child. Engineering was the only career that made sense to me. Women often feel like they are going against the norm by going into engineering, but I say go for it! Follow your interests and you will have a rewarding career.
- Dani Nygren, Civil project manager
My favorite professional event is a career fair that I helped organize with other local engineers. Hundreds of engineers from all levels come together to share success stories, discuss new technology, and educate younger engineers on opportunities. The event expands our knowledge and builds lasting relationships with others in the industry.
- Jennifer Dampf, Senior project manager
I became a structural engineer because I have an aptitude for physics, math, and art. My favorite types of projects are the unique ones that require creative solutions. Recently I enjoyed working on the fire training prop for the airport rescue and firefighting facility at the Appleton International Airport.
- Cari Bodoh, Structural engineer
I almost gave up on pursuing a career in STEM because despite being the best in my class, I was always considered less intelligent than the man in second place. It was hard, but I stuck with it. While I started in engineering purely out of a love and passion for it, I stayed to break down stereotypes (and because I still love it!). More women in STEM brings us closer to a world where the smartest person in the room is not determined by their gender.
- Annabel Sammons, Associate environmental engineer
Whether it is the water we drink, the roads on which we drive, or even the building where we live or work, a civil engineer has played a role in its conception and implementation. I love that I am part of a group that is instrumental in improving our daily lives and quality of life.
- Carrie Heath, Graduate engineer
I’ve always thought engineering was a great way for me to work on something I care about. As a civil engineer, I’m very glad that I have the opportunity to work on renewable energy with such a great group.
- Seneca Stairs, Civil graduate engineer
I am extremely proud to explain what I do to my friends and people I meet, because I help make renewable energy possible. By working on wind farms and solar farms, I get to make a difference now and in the generations to follow by being a part of a sustainable solution to the world’s energy needs.
- Alli Leach, Civil graduate engineer
I really like to know the behind the scenes of things, and I thought engineering would be a good way to see the “behind the scenes” of how the world is built. I had many strong women in STEM growing up who encouraged me to follow my interests, and so it’s especially important to continue getting young girls excited about science and engineering.
- Paige Murphy, Civil engineering intern
When I was younger I really enjoyed building anything and everything with my hands. I especially liked making 3D models of structures. When I started freshman year of high school an instructor noticed my abilities and encouraged me to take Principles of Engineering 101(POE). After taking that course, I realized this was the path for me and I pursued my interest into civil engineering.
- Kelly Schwister, Materials lab coordinator
Engineering involves a lot of creativity, and having a diverse group of engineers adds an interesting mix of ideas and ways of approaching challenges. I’m proud that my technical knowledge is contributing to the development of our community.
- Waldy Coronado, Assistant project manager
I decided to get into surveying because I wanted to try something new. I love exploring the outdoors, and surveying makes that possible. I’m proud to be one of the few women in the field; it’s not easy being out in the elements, but it’s worth it!
- Natina Blass, Survey instrument person
I got in to engineering in order to apply my strengths in math and science to my passion for the environment. Now that I'm in a leadership role, I love seeing our younger staff grow and develop their potential, and I strive to support their growth as best I can.
- Katie Penning, Director, solar and storage
When I was working for a utility company, I volunteered to work on a telecom project with several engineers. I had never been involved with this team and wasn’t sure what to expect but they made sure that I felt welcome. I was included in the group meetings and made many suggestions to help improve accuracy between the field and the office. Also, the comradery was fantastic! I’m new to Westwood, but I hope to do the same here.
- Peggy Simpson, Senior T&D design technician
In college, I went to an extra credit seminar that was put on by an environmental engineer. I didn’t know that environmental engineering existed before then, but after that, I decided to switch my major. My first project with Blattner is one I’m proud of. I helped build a bolt cage and put concrete into a foundation. It’s cool to know that something I helped build will be in use for many years.
- Chloe Olson, Civil graduate engineer
Entering a profession that is still primarily male was intimidating as a young engineer. Luckily, I had some wonderful female and male engineers who helped me understand that I shouldn’t have to change myself to be a successful engineer. Their empathy and support encouraged me to embrace the skills and traits I already possessed and use those to build my career.
- Carrie Boecher, Construction stormwater project manager
The STEM industries need more women because they have different perspectives. With more women on the team, we can broaden the range of solutions to problems.
- Alicia Coronilla, graduate engineer