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STEMinist Profile: Barbara A. Res, Professsional Engineer


Barbara A. Res

Professsional Engineer

Res Construction Services LLC

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My guidance counselors told me to be a Math teacher because I had the highest math grades in my high school. I did not hear the word engineer once. I entered school as a poli sci major but fortunately my school had an engineering program and I was challenged to study it by some of the male students. Since I liked electricity in physics, I decided to pursue Electrical Engineering and I ended up working in construction.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
My coolest assignment was being in charge of construction of the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York City. By the time I went to work for Trump, I had been an assistant project manager, draftsperson, Mechanical Superintendent and Superintendent on various construction projects. I had a complete knowledge of all trades and was adept at management.

On Trump Tower, I got to build a complicated building and work with the celebrities who bought apartments. We put a swimming pool in one apartment on the 65th floor. The design challenges were illuminating and the personalities intriguing.

Role models and heroes:
Gloria Steinem is a hero. Unfortunately, because of the occupation I chose, there were no female role models. I had some men who were mentors. Think what you will, Donald Trump and his wife Ivana were my biggest promoters and he gave me unbelievable opportunities.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
Construction is the most exciting business because it provides instant gratification. You can point to a building and say, I played a part in creating that. People see your work. I am particularly honored to have my name inscribed on a building I supervised at 667 Madison Ave in NYC.

Construction is challenging and never boring. Every day is different with new problems to solve.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Believe in yourself and your choices. You define the work you do, not the other way around. Don’t let anyone challenge your reasons for becoming an engineer. Don’t stand for harassment and intimidation. You have to pick your spots, and be a bit thick skinned, but any serious action must be reported.

Work very hard. Probably you will work harder than the men. I did. But you don’t have to, just do your best.

Find other women to work with and befriend, even if they are competition. Find a mentor and look for younger women you can help.

Favorite website or app:

Twitter: @Barbararesesq


GoldieBlox Demands Change With An Incredible New Music Video

The idea for this video, as GoldieBlox says on its website, was to “showcase the amazing inventive power that girls have.” So they rewrote the lyrics to “Girls.” And they got three (awesome) little girls, six engineers and Brett Doar, the brain behind the OK Go!’s Rube Goldberg machine to turn a regular house a house into a “princess machine.”

[ via The Huffington Post ]


Lucy Rogers, STEM communicator

The key to changing minds and holding interest is to be goal-oriented, Rogers believes. This means describing career choices in terms of what people want to do rather than just as a vague ‘engineering’ catch-all.

[ via The Engineer ]


Portraits of Women in the Power Industry

Patty West believes that she was destined to be in the power industry. “When I was little, my favorite song was Glenn Campbell’s Lineman for the County,” she said laughing. “That might have been predestination that I was going to end up in the utility business!” West considers herself a “science nerd” whose love for science fairs led her to pursue a career in civil engineering. She explained that she had a desire for an environmental career and at the time, “we didn’t have all these fancy different environmental engineering choices, we had mechanical, civil, or electrical,” she said. She chose civil.

[ via Power Engineering ]


Where are the women scientists and engineers?

In the six years since the financial crisis, geekiness has become trendy for young men. But still the female geek is nowhere to be seen. Asked to explain why, government says it’s up to industry; industry blames the universities, universities blame schools, schools blame parents and parents, well, they blame the media.

[ via The Guardian ]