February 21-27, 2016 is very special to Tata & Howard, as it is National Engineers Week. National Engineers Week — or “EWeek” — was first celebrated in 1951 by the National Society for Professional Engineers (NSPE), and since then has been celebrated annually in February during the week that contains the birthday of our nation’s first engineer — George Washington.
EWeek is an opportunity for organizations and individuals to highlight the importance of engineering skills such as math, science, and technical literacy. According to the NSPE, EWeek is a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education, and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. Dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, EWeek promotes recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy, and motivates youth to pursue engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and vigorous engineering workforce.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
Started 15 years ago in 2001 as a joint effort between NSPE, IBM, and the National Engineers Week Foundation, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day always falls during EWeek, this year on February 25. “Girl Day” is a special opportunity for engineers to introduce more girls and young women to engineering, and to show them the creative side of engineering and how it changes our world.
Engineering has long been a male-dominated profession. In recent years, engineering colleges and universities have focused on increasing enrollment of females, and currently the female undergraduate enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is 31%, at California Institute of Technology is 39%, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is 46%. However, the national average of female engineering students remains at a dismal 18%, and the number of employed female engineers is even more alarming: currently, only about 11% of our nation’s engineering workforce is female.
At Tata & Howard, we esteem engineers who embrace our core values of teamwork, efficient solutions, client satisfaction, integrity, and positive attitude, regardless of gender, and currently 25% of our engineering staff is female. Our female engineers are bright, energetic professionals who are valued every bit as much as their male counterparts; in fact, two of the six members of our Board of Directors are women. So in celebration of EWeek and Girl Day, we’d like to introduce you to some of our phenomenal female engineers.
Tata & Howard’s Women in Leadership
Karen Gracey, Vice President, Manager of Business Development and member of the Board of Directors, has over 17 years of concentrated water system experience. Karen holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont and has been with the firm since she graduated. She has completing numerous hydraulic modeling projects, and is certified in WaterGems and InfoWater software. Among the projects strengthening her resume are a number of water main designs, Capital Efficiency Plans™, pump stations, and storage tanks designs. Additionally, Karen has concentrated experience in water system evaluations, with the completion of over 30 water distribution system studies and asset management plans.
Jenna Rzasa, Vice President, Manager of Finance and member of the Board of Directors, has over 18 years of concentrated water system experience with specialized expertise in water system design. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has been with the firm since she graduated. Her experience includes new source development, water system analysis, and water audits using the AWWA M36 methodology.
Justine Carroll, Project Manager, has 10 years of concentrated experience in water system modeling, holds a BS in Environmental Engineering and an MS in Environmental and Water Resource Engineering from Tufts University, and has been with the firm since she graduated. She is the Team Leader for the Hydraulics Group and is certified in WaterGEMS and InfoWater modeling software as well as in ESRI – ArcGIS Desktop II and III. Justine is also actively involved in Special Olympics and volunteers her time as a swim coach.
Amanda Cavaliere, Project Manager, has over 16 years of concentrated experience in water and wastewater engineering and holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Roger Williams University. She has been with the firm for 13 years and she is the Team Leader for the Wastewater Group. A seasoned expert in water and wastewater engineering, Amanda has worked on numerous wastewater treatment plants, water mains, and evaluations throughout New England.
Our Female Engineers
In addition to Karen, Jenna, Justine, and Amanda, we have many other talented female engineers throughout the company. Melissa Leach, Project Manager in our St. Johnsbury, Vermont office, has over 20 years of engineering experience and holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Washington University. Project Engineer Valli Sukuru from our Waterbury, Connecticut office has over eight years of water engineering experience and holds an MS in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at San Antonio and a BS in Civil Engineering from National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India; and Project Engineer Meghan Dineen from our Lakeville, Massachusetts office has been with the firm since 2008, when she graduated from University of Massachusetts, Amherst (UMass Amherst) with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. We also have women at the Assistant Project Engineer and Engineer levels who are valued members of the team and make significant contributions to the water, wastewater, stormwater, and environmental engineering consulting services the firm provides.
Tata & Howard is proud of our extensive engineering talent base, both male and female, and we look forward to meeting — and hiring — the girls and young women of today who will become the engineering stars of tomorrow. Happy National Engineers Week and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day!