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HRP celebrates International Women in Engineering Day 2019

June 23rd, 2019


Sunday, June 23, 2019 is International Women in Engineering Day. At HRP we are extremely proud of our amazing group of women in engineering. This week we would like to show our appreciation by sharing their stories, and inspire others to #TransformTheFuture by following in their footsteps.

 

Judy Schuler, PE, Project Manager, Farmington, CT

I have had an assorted path leading up to my start at HRP in early 2018.  I earned my B.S. in Civil Engineering at MIT.  I was fortunate to be on an Air Force ROTC scholarship at MIT that led to my next four years as an Air Force Officer, managing design & construction projects at Edwards Air Force Base in California and then the design & construction program for the Defense Courier Service and their facilities in the US and around the world.  I separated from the Air Force, got married, moved to Boston, and worked for the Big Dig for a few years until an opportunity for my husband brought us to Connecticut.  In Connecticut, I worked at several small consulting firms on land development projects before I finally arrived at HRP.   I also have a wonderful son who I was able to take time off from work when he was young to be a full-time Mom.

I celebrate the many women in this field, especially the women who I work with every day.  And a special shout out to my two sisters in Florida, who are also civil engineers, for their inspiration and support!
 

Correne Auer, PE, Sr. Project Engineer, Farmington, CT

In high school I enjoyed math and solving problems.  A guidance counselor suggested engineering would be a good career path for me so I pursued colleges with civil and environmental engineering majors, as I also loved anything to do with the outdoors.  I decided on Engineering School at UCONN since it was close to home, a larger school and had great basketball teams. During college I had  various engineering internships which I enjoyed and helped to reassure me that I was on the right track.  I chose the environmental path of civil engineering since UCONN did not have its own Environmental major at the time.  I started at an environmental engineering consulting firm, ERM, in CT a few weeks after graduating.  I worked for ERM in CT and WA states for approximately 6 years and obtained my professional engineering license.  While on the West Coast, I felt inclined to try a different aspect of civil engineering and worked as a municipal development review engineer for the City of Auburn for approximately 2 years.

After moving back to the East Coast to be closer to family, I took some time off to raise my young children.  Once they were school aged I was excited to re-enter the engineering work force and I began my role as a Senior Project Engineer with HRP, approximately 2 years ago.  The reward of helping clients, performing engineering tasks, and working with a great team of co-workers has made my return to work so enjoyable and I know I made a great decision!
 

Jackie Baxley, PE, EHS Practice Leader, Greenville, SC

“You should be an Engineer,” a refrain I heard quite a lot growing up.  However, I never knew what  engineering was until I decided to declare engineering my second year of college.  It has taken me practicing engineering for over 20 years to really understand what an engineer is and that is, simply, a problem solver.  Looking back, I can see why I was told I should be an engineer as I’ve been problem solving since an early age.

I had a hearing disability that went undiagnosed until I was in 3rd grade.  As a result, I was a quiet child with a speech impediment.   I had learned to adapt through elementary school, unknowingly solving my problem of not being able to comprehend most of what my teachers were saying.  Once diagnosed, my family and I had the ability to target and overcome this obstacle but I always had to work a little harder than my friends through school.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to my son’s middle school about engineering and STEM careers.  Where I didn’t share the story of overcoming my hearing disability, I did share that when I was growing up, I loved games and playing Legos.  I shared that school was not easy for me – I hated reading and couldn’t spell well at all but math always came easy to me.  I shared that my path toward engineering was not direct but a little windy, and one that I had to work a little harder for.  This working a little harder and adapting I believe paved my path for engineering and working hard for HRP and our clients - finding ways to adapt complicated (and sometimes nonsensical) regulations to unique scenarios our clients face. 


Laura Lopez Sosa, EIT, Senior Project Scientist, Greenville, SC

My name is Laura and my engineering journey began long before I knew what that word even meant. Ever since I was young, I always liked math and science and enjoyed making new things. I remember one time, I constructed a wagon out of crate and an old pair of skates I had, because I was trying to haul veggies from the garden to the house.  My mind was always captivated on something.  The older I became, the more I realized that I wanted to do something in the science and math fields. So when I graduated high school, I picked engineering and set on my journey to discover what engineering was all about. When I got to Mercer University, I actually realized there were many types of engineering occupations; computer, electrical, biomedical, mechanical, environmental, and so many more. I knew that I loved planet earth and wanted to do everything I could so that it could continue to thrive. I picked environmental engineering and graduated with my Bachelors and Masters in 2015. Fast forward to today, and I now work at environmental engineering consulting company that strives to continue to move the environment forward.

In the field you can find me with my clip board: inspecting aboveground storage tanks (to make sure none are leaking); completing environmental audits (making sure facilities are managing waste correctly); collecting field information (for a plan or permit); and even giving training. And yes, from time to time, you can also find me in the office working on reports, having meetings, or goofing around with my awesome coworkers!

 

Genna Wislocki, EIT, Project Engineer, Farmington, CT

I have always loved a challenge. I think that’s what sparked my interest in the vocational agriculture program at Southington High School. I thought having to apply and interview to get into a high school would be good practice for college. If I got in, it would be a great way of getting into a better public school program. After being accepted into the program I quickly found a passion for plant science. When it came time to choose a college major Environmental Engineering seemed like a no brainer – marrying my love of the environmental studies with the challenging curriculum that engineering provides.

After working in the field for almost four years my favorite part about being an engineer now is the passionate and skillful professionals that I get to problem solve with. The environmental field is full of complicated issues that require a multidisciplinary skill set to effectively tackle. I am working with and learning from a range of professionals on a daily bases including geologists, electricians, health & safety professionals, laboratory technicians, the list can go on for miles. We all have something to contribute to the team and knowing that we all had a part in it coming to a solution makes it very rewarding.

 

Kathlynn Traub, Project Scientist, Greenville, SC

My father never answered my questions. He would always answer “Well, let’s do the math”.  

If I asked how many miles we traveled on a road trip, he would give me the time and his speed, and I would have to do the math. With “rounding to make the math easy” he would say.

If I wanted to know if it were true that there were more stars in the sky than grains of sand on the ground, I would have to do the math.

Doing math has been my life. Since I grew up with math in my bones and dirt on my face, it was only natural I went into Environmental Engineering.

I graduated from Clemson University in 2018 with an Environmental Engineering degree and a minor in Mathematics (surprise surprise).

On a daily basis I am fortunate enough to help the environment by doing compliance, safety, and various inspections at all different kinds of facilities.

I love my job because I can learn about processes that I would have never known of otherwise. And yes, I do use the math I learned in school in real life.

Even now, when someone at work asks me a question, I answer “let’s do the math”.
 

Muthoni Harris, Senior Project Engineer, Tampa, FL

I come from Nairobi, Kenya and moved to the U.S to go to college when I was 18 years old.  I majored in chemical engineering and really enjoyed the classes I took. My first job out of college was performing air quality permitting. Since then I have worked in a variety of environmental consulting services in several industries including consumer goods, oil & gas, manufacturing, airlines and colleges & universities to name a few.  I enjoy helping my clients figure out if they are complying with environmental regulations and if not, how they can. My chemical engineering background allows me to understand industrial processes, pollution control systems and gives me the ability to approach problems logically.

I am also a mom of two wonderful kids. I took a break from work for five years to raise my kids and was really grateful I could do that. To me, engineering is really about using different tools to solve problems / challenges and women are great at problem solving! My mom, though not an engineer by training, is a great problem solver and I grew up watching her “fix” things. Perhaps this is where my desire to learn how things work and keep them working came from. Girls should get to know their strengths and pursue whatever they want not just what society tells them to do. Like Daniel Tiger says “You Can Be More Than One Thing”. Today, my focus is on increasing my professional knowledge as I continue helping my clients comply with environmental regulations.


Muthoni Harris, Senior Project Engineer at HRP Associates, Inc.
Kathlynn Traub, Project Scientist at HRP Associates, Inc.
Genna Wislocki, EIT, Project Engineer at HRP Associates, Inc.
Laura Lopez Sosa, EIT, Senior Project Scientist at HRP Associates, Inc.
Jackie Baxley, PE, EHS Practice Leader at HRP Associates, Inc.
Correne Auer, PE, Sr. Project Engineer at HRP Associates, Inc.
Judy Schuler, PE, Project Manager at HRP Associates, Inc.

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