June 21, 2021
In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we met up with the inspiring group of women making great strides in developing our eHealth & Remote Monitoring solutions. Terri, Kitty and Sarah all develop and engineer parts of SNC’s various eHealth solutions – figuring out how to not just make it work, but make it work well. We are going to dive into what inspires them in a minute, but first, what is eHealth and Remote Monitoring?!
Our eHealth & Remote Monitoring tools automatically capture critical patient info and communicate patient status to the receiving medical facility, allowing air medics and first responders to focus on patient care instead of documentation. SNC’s eHealth mission is to improve patient care and outcomes in the toughest situations imaginable and provide patients valuable information for future health care needs.
Did you always want to work in this field? Tell us a little bit about your career journey – what got you interested in engineering?
Terri: I started my working life with odd jobs and eventually fell into working for a grocery store. They offered good insurance and had a good atmosphere, so I wound up staying there for 20 years. Later, I realized I wanted to do something more challenging. I went back to school and found computer science. I fell in love with the intricacy of coding and the ever-changing field. I had always been interested in technology, being raised by a “computer geek” dad.
Sarah: Not at all! I thought about being an English or music major before I finally landed in engineering. I’ve always been analytical by nature, so I tried out a computer science class one semester and loved it. I graduated with a Computer Science and Engineering degree, and was a software engineer here at SNC for about four years before transitioning to systems engineering.
Kitty: I have always been very interested in math and science. I actually started out as a Chemical Engineering major but switched to Electrical Engineering during my freshman year at college. My older sister was majoring in Computer Science and Engineering which exposed me to some of her engineering courses and projects. Being a very visual and hands-on person, switching to and pursuing a career in hardware/electrical engineering was very fitting for me.
What is the best part about working as an engineer at SNC?
Terri: I absolutely love that every day contains a new challenge. It keeps me interested and engaged. Previous jobs have gotten repetitive quickly. I’ll never have that happen working as an engineer.
Sarah: We develop military telemedicine solutions to modernize patient care from the field to the hospital, which involves medical sensor integration, network integration and mobile development. We’re on the cutting edge of technology creating things no one else has before. I love that I get to learn something new every day.
Kitty: I have worked at SNC for almost 20 years. Even though SNC is a big company, it still provides the agility and flexibility of a small company, providing engineers the support and tools we need to be successful. The encouraging collaboration and interactions between engineers has been the most rewarding part of working at SNC.
Why is supporting and protecting explorers and heroes important to you?
Terri: I come from a family that has many military members and police officers. I see the daily sacrifices they make and have always felt they needed to be supported by their community. They’re risking their lives to keep us safe and ensure our freedom. We wouldn’t have such an amazing country without them.
Sarah: It puts all the hard work into perspective. Especially working for the eHealth team, we get to see the immediate, human impact of what we do. Being able to do something positive for the people that protect us is extremely gratifying and humbling.
Kitty: I feel very fortunate knowing that I can play a part in the effort to help ensure the safety and success of our heroes/explorers. Since I can’t personally thank them for their sacrifices directly, making sure we design and build the highest quality products to support them in a successful mission is extremely important to me.
There are several women on this particular engineering team. What’s it like working together on the same projects and programs?
Terri: I work on a couple of different teams. I’ve done quite a bit of mobile application development, along with work integrating different sensors. I really enjoy working with all the women here. They are all so smart and happy to help me when I get stuck on a problem. It’s fun to have women that share my interests and inspiring to see that women can be successful in this field.
Kitty: Interestingly, women engineers are the majority on this program. It’s been great working with all the talented women on the team. Everyone is very supportive in helping each other with advice and guidance. It’s great to see all the success and accomplishments of the women on the team every day.
What advice would do you have for women pursuing a career in STEM?
Terri: Don’t be intimidated by the fact that women are a minority in this field. At least from my experience, the men in this industry are very accepting and helpful. It’s a tough career and degree to pursue, but if you love math and science (even if you aren’t naturally good at it) it’s a very fulfilling career.
Sarah: There’s so much you can do in STEM. Take the time to discover what makes you happy and don’t be afraid to try something new!
Kitty: There are many great engineering mentorship programs out there now, join one and get involved. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and try to get out of your comfort zone. With any career, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort, you will be successful!
Interested in joining the Sierra Nevada Corporation team? Apply today at sncorp.com/careers.