In celebrating Women Engineers and Surveyors in Honor of Women’s History Month, Stacey from dk discusses how she got her start in engineering, what skills females bring to the field, and the satisfaction she gets from her job.
Stacey Gella is a UC Davis Civil Engineering graduate who has been with dk Engineering for 12 years and has served as a Project Manager for the past two years. Working on a wide range of projects at dk including wind and solar farms, residential, and senior living, Stacey manages a design team as well as provides coordination with clients and other project team consultants.
Originally hired by dk as an Engineer in 2005, she left for a couple of years but returned to the dk team in 2010 because of the positive company culture and comradery, and the complex projects she gets to work on.
We are asking Stacey some questions about her start in engineering, her most challenging project and how other women can be encouraged to enter the field.
1. What is your first memory of being interested in the field of engineering?
Going to Disneyland and wondering how things worked and not thinking it was all real.
2. What inspired you to study or get involved in engineering?
I always excelled at math and liked solving puzzles and wanted to do something that utilized those skills.
3. What do you love most about the field of engineering, and what strengths in general do you think women bring to the profession?
I love finding solutions to design challenges. Women have a tremendous ability to multi-task which is important in this field.
4. What woman inspires you?
Amy Poehler in real life started “Smart Girls” which emphasizes young girls to be smart and imaginative over focusing on popularity. I also admire her fictional character Leslie Knope (from Parks & Recreation) who always stayed positive no matter what she was up against.
5. What’s been your most challenging project at dk Engineering and why?
The Golden Hills North wind farm. Besides being difficult terrain for grading, there were environmental constraints we had to design around, with construction costs and schedule to keep in mind. I also had to coordinate with the project team, including the client, contractor, environmental consultant, electrical designer, and local agencies.
6. How do we encourage more females to enter the engineering field?
My advice is to pursue your interests in science and math because you genuinely like those subjects, and disregard what other people may perceive as uncool or nerdy.
7. What’s your greatest satisfaction on the job?
The green energy projects we work on have a positive effect on the environment and are helping to decrease our need for fossil fuels.