Civil Engineer – Asst. Dir of Public Works/City Engineer
City of Geneva
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
In 1980 the assistant dean of engineering with the University of Tennessee contacted me when I was still in high school because he had seen my ACT scores and wanted to encourage me to change my intended major from psychology to engineering. After corresponding for a year and visiting with him on campus, he convinced me that engineering would be a great career choice.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
The implementation of automatic meter reading (AMR) because:
I’d spent five years watching as another entity tried to unsuccessfully implement a similar project that never worked correctly and continually drained money from the city. With our project we were able to propose an implementation that not only was half the cost of what a private consultant had proposed, but it was successfully installed in one year with no major problems.
It was also a cool project because it allowed us to monitor water usage throughout the city on almost a real time basis, and it monitored water leaks on private lines and on our mains. So the end result was the replacement of a failed project with one that was installed efficiently and economically and provided us with useful data to help us better serve customers and operate our system. And AMR systems provide a foundation that will make other innovations possible.
Role models and heroes:
The many older engineers/professors who mentored me and patiently laid the foundation of my engineering knowledge.
Advice for future STEMinists?
Develop your confidence, communication and technical skills, and network – they will provide the support you need to meet any challenge.
Favorite website or app:
Anything by Google.