Girls need early exposure to engineering fields

Nichole Sungren, PE | with 0 Comments

Girls need early exposure to engineering fields

This is the third post in a series about women in engineering. The series was prompted by an op-ed published in the New York Times by Lina Nilsson, a female professor at the University of California – Berkeley. Nilsson, who has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, argued that women will be attracted to engineering if they believe the work benefits society and if the goals of engineering research and curriculums be more relevant to societal needs.
The female engineers in this series believe differently from Nilsson and wanted to share their perspective. Shannon Lybarger and Raine Gardner recently shared their viewpoints on how the profession can attract more women. Nichole continues the series by reflecting on what attracted her to be an engineer and how engineering inherently meets societal needs.
I got into engineering because I liked math and science in high school. My interest was first piqued when I job shadowed engineers at the Rock Island District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I later returned to the Corps as a co-op in college. I was attracted to civil engineering because it offered the most varied work experience.
On a day-to-day basis, I design roadways and water and sanitary sewer systems. I’m working on the West Des Moines South 8th Street construction project that will serve the Microsoft Data Facility Campus. I’ve also designed the force main relocation under the Turkey River in Elkader, Iowa that was necessary as a result of flooding. One of my most recent projects is the design of sanitary sewer improvements for the City of Truro.
Projects related to the new Microsoft facility, including new housing and future commercialbusinesses, will encourage economic development. I’ve worked with my co-workers to provide planning and infrastructure design and construction related services for the redevelopment of Elkader. This community now offers an attractive new Founders’ Park and a whitewater feature that is gaining national recognition.
Helping society is a natural bi-product of the engineering world. We don’t need to seek out ways to meet societal needs. That is just what we do. I design roads to get people from one point to another. We clean and transport drinking water and bring it to people’s homes. Every time you flush the toilet, we are the people responsible for disposing of the sewage and treating it. Sometimes it is not a glamorous job, and it gets overlooked compared to the doctors and lawyers of the world that everyone hears of making an impact. But we know what we do is important, and that is why we do it.
Nichole Sungren, PE, has more than 13 years of experience planning and designing roadway and site improvement projects.  Her expertise spans a wide array of project types, including schools, jails and downtown areas in the greater Des Moines, IA metro area. Contact Nichole for more information on engineering.

Filed Under Inside MSA Tags: 

/News---Info/Blog /News---Info/Blog/July-2015/Girls-need-early-exposure-to-engineering-fields /News---Info/Blog /News---Info/Blog/July-2015/Girls-need-early-exposure-to-engineering-fields


Follow MSA on Facebook  Follow MSA on LinkedIn  Follow MSA on Twitter 
© Copyright 2018 MSA Professional Services, Inc. All rights reserved.
MSA (800) 362-4505