The official definition of what an engineer does is to apply science and mathematics principles to develop technical solutions to complex technical problems. However, the truth about engineering is that we are at our core are “Problem Solvers” and “Fixers”. The Truth is that we learn how to think analytically and approach ANY problem from a logical perspective using the most reliable information we have (and validated) to develop a solution. My journey has been interesting and also life fulfilling! The Truth is you never know where your journey will take you!
My journey in engineering has taken me from being a single mom studying Industrial Engineering at eighteen to being a Nuclear Engineer by twenty-two to deploying modern manufacturing techniques in organizations to starting my own consulting business when I was thirty-four. As a consultant, I have enjoyed the journey of Re-engineering a Community Hospital to improve their competitive position, establishing a Health Plan, working with a plethora of non-profit organizations dealing with children, women, and schools. I also founded a retreat and was the Chief Inspiration Officer and worked to develop a Mechatronics Program at a local community college while working with a local Zoo to measure outcomes. My current stop in my journey is working with therapeutic horses that develop inspiring leaders as well as teaching Project Management for Engineers at a Major University. You may question “Is this what engineers really do?”.
The truth is that you may guide your career based on your passions but beware – you can never leave your engineering mind at work. I have found that, just like gears, engineers are always thinking. We typically see an improvement no matter where we are as there are problems everywhere! I have found myself being on the School Board, solving friends and family member problems – because we truly are “Problem Solvers”. However, one of the Truths about Engineering is that we think with our heads first and our hearts second. However, most engineers I know have huge hearts and passion for their priorities. The Truth is we will always put problem-solving first. Enjoy your journey!
Written by Patricia Kelly Lee