Title: Product Support Engineer II, LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc., LG Air Conditioning Technologies
Educational Experience: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Professional Credentials/Accreditations: Engineer in training (EIT)
Organizational Affiliations/Achievements/Awards: ASHRAE associate member
What does your day-to-day job entail?
On a day-to-day basis, my main job is to manage and develop a design/simulation software tool called LG Air Conditioner Technical Solutions (LATS). I support HVAC designers and architects with engineering-related questions as they design their variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems in LATS. I also conduct voice-of-customer studies to improve LATS so it can continue to provide accurate simulation and more advanced functionality.
What caused you to/when did you fall in love with engineering?
I’ve always enjoyed and excelled in math and science. When in high school, I thought about what college to attend. I was in an AP physics class that I did well in, and the teacher for that class was in a dual program at Georgia Tech. She told me about engineering in general and how women are excelling in the profession. She inspired me to pursue the engineering field, and I decided to study mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. That’s when I first fell in love with engineering, and I’m still in love today.
What has been the most rewarding/proudest aspect of your engineering career?
When I first graduated from college, I wasn’t sure about what career field to enter, since mechanical engineering is very broad, and there was not one specific field that intrigued me. So, my first job after college was as an HVAC application engineer for LG’s Air Conditioning Technologies division. As I spent more time working and learning about HVAC, I fell in love with the field and found more areas within the sector I wanted to study. So, I decided to pursue my future career in HVAC and become an HVAC professional engineer. Thinking back to when I first put myself in the job field, not knowing where to go, my proudest moment is when I found my passion in this field.
What challenges do women face in this profession? Can you give a personal example? Why aren’t there more women in engineering? How can we increase the number of women in engineering?
Being a minority, a female engineer, one may feel a lack of confidence and feel like she doesn’t quite fit in a more male-dominant workplace. I had some instances where I felt like this at large conferences or work-related events. I learned that building my personal skills and improving my profession helped me build my confidence. I believe we can increase the number of women in engineering by reducing people’s prejudice toward engineering and women in this arena. One may be a good fit for engineering, but because of the preconception that women are generally not good in engineering, she might not even consider pursuing this field. I think reducing this prejudice would help young girls and women to try their abilities in the engineering field.
How many years have you been active in the engineering sector? What’s changed the most in that time? What’s changed the least?
I was in an engineering school for four years and have been in the engineering profession for five years. What’s changed the most in this time is the number of women pursuing this track. I know the number of women entering engineering schools is growing, which is incredibly inspiring, and I can see that because I meet more female students in the engineering field when I visit my university. I think the way engineers work has not changed very much over time and believe engineers could try and adopt new ways and methods of working and collaborating.
What drives/motivates you every day?
I’m not completely new in the field but still consider myself a young engineer, which means I still have so many things to learn. I learn at least one new thing every day, and this motivates me. I become a better engineer when I learn new things, advance new skills, and make them mine.
What remains on your engineering bucket list — what do you aspire to do that you haven’t accomplished yet?
Becoming a certified professional engineer in HVAC is still on my engineering bucket list. I aspire to become a P.E. and mentor for younger female engineers who are just entering the HVAC field.
What’s one thing no one knows about you?
Everyone thinks I’m a thinker, but I’m more of a feeler. I can easily understand and relate to other people’s feelings.
List any mentors who’ve helped you succeed and describe precisely how they’ve shaped your success.
Throughout my life, I’ve had many mentors, but I would like to mention my own mother as the No. 1 person who shaped me and encouraged me to succeed. She was a supporter and advisor throughout my youth and early career years. When I had important decisions to make, she gave me rational advice for my best success, and I know they always led me in the right direction.
What advice do you have for prospective female engineers considering entering the field?
My advice is not to be intimidated by the fact you are a minority. Instead, test your infinite abilities in this unbounded field of engineering, and you’ll find your passion. Also, don’t be afraid to take on the most challenging jobs and roles, because this will help you build your confidence.