June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day! Today and every day, we celebrate and recognize all of the amazing women in engineering at Strum. This year, we asked a few of these women about their career paths and what “International Women in Engineering Day” means to them.

Kelly Logue,
Kelly Logue,Drafting Technician
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Krishna Ambattu,
Krishna Ambattu,Civil Engineering Technologist
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 Samantha Hodge,
Samantha Hodge, Electrical Engineer In Training
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Marley Flinn,
Marley Flinn, Environmental Engineer in Training
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Kathryn Smith,
Kathryn Smith, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering
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What made you decide to pursue a career in your field?

Kelly: What started me on this course years ago was the fact that I loved to draw and I loved math! I had been a CAD Technician for Electrical, Heating and Ventilation and also dabbled in Mechanical and Architectural. I love to challenge myself at times and said why not lets try Civil and Surveying! It’s been full force ever since!

Krishna: Since my early school days, I recognized my interest towards mathematics, which paved a way to the field of Engineering. I also enjoyed understanding the designs of new building structures and curious about town planning, which took me to pursue a career in Civil Engineering.

Samantha: I decided to pursue a career in electrical engineering when I was 13. My uncle is an electrical engineer, and he gave a me a tour of his company so I could see all the projects he was working on. After that visit, I started considering engineering as a career, and my love for math and science throughout high school helped solidify that choice.

Marley: I decided to pursue an engineering career due to my interests in math and sciences, the outdoors, and team work! Environmental engineering encompasses all of them.

Kathryn: Growing up in a small town I was never really exposed to engineering. A mentor in high school suggested that I may enjoy it due to my interests in science and mathematics. And they were right! Although it took time for me to land on my discipline, I finally found my love for water related work and haven’t looked back.

Tell us about one of your favorite projects (or teams) that you’ve worked on and why?

Kelly: There’s so many it’s hard to choose! Everyday is a learning experience but dear to my heart is helping people in need and overcome obstacles that life throws at one. I have also played “Secret Santa Clause”! Nothing makes a person feel the way they feel when you can turn a sad face into a happy one!

Krishna: There is one project that I will remember forever. It was one of the biggest project that I firstly worked on and it was also my neighborhood. I was happy to draw my neighborhood in CAD for this project and also able to witness the daily progress of the project and luckily got another chance for site visit to the same project location. The site visit taught me several new things as I got a chance to get all the things explained from the main Engineer.

Samantha: I was a Co-Chair for Go Eng Girl, which is an event hosted by the Dalhousie Women in Engineering Society. We had 120 girls in grades 7-12 come to Dalhousie for the day where we took them on tours of campus and hosted a design competition where the winners were awarded an entrance scholarship to Dalhousie. It was very fulfilling to see so many girls excited by the idea of a career in engineering.

Marley: One of my favourite projects and team that I’ve worked on was the Capstone Project, which was completed in my final year of university and involved close work with select classmates, a faculty adviser, and an industry sponsor. Through this project my team was able to combine knowledge from courses, design skills, and team collaboration to provide a solution to our industry sponsor.

Kathryn: I thoroughly enjoyed my PhD project on engineering cold-water habitat for Atlantic salmon within Nova Scotia! I loved having my boots on the ground, designing the system, using innovative technologies, and working with all the local watershed groups as I was able to challenge myself and see the positive impact of the project.

What advice would you give to a young woman interested in your field, and where should they start?

Kelly: Jump in with both feet! You can do anything you put your mind to! With a little work and determination you will succeed and be thankful you kept pushing yourself thru no matter how hard it gets at times!

Krishna: Engineering is too vast, and first thing to do is to find the proper branch of your interest. Regardless of the branch, you should also improve your math and problem solving skills.

Samantha: Engineering is a very broad field. Look into which aspect of engineering interests you most, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Marley: Explore different fields of engineering, seek mentors, and gain field experience. I highly recommended the co-operative education program if able to participate in the program through university.

Kathryn: Stay curious. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try new things. The world is ever changing and it may feel overwhelming to try and pick one thing to do, but don’t feel boxed into that idea.

If you’re interested in engineering, I would highly recommend gaining some practical experience through paths like internships. Often times folks are turned off from a topic during their undergraduate but when applied in real life they actually quite enjoy it (or vice versa).

What does International Women in Engineering Day mean to you?

Kelly: It’s recognizing how far women have come in the Engineering field, equality, and acknowledging all our hard work! Also being that light to shine and encourage other women to take that step to higher accomplishments and be successful no matter what obstacles are in their way!

Krishna: To me, it is an occasion to recognize all the hardworking Women Engineers in the world. Also, a way to encourage women who is interested to pursue a career in the field of Engineering.

Samantha: For me, international women in engineering day is about highlighting women who are making a difference in their community so that younger generations of girls can see themselves represented in the field.

Marley: IWED is a day of reflection and celebration of the contributions of women in engineering!

Kathryn: It is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our contributions to engineering! And to highlight engineering as a career path for women.