New Face Finds Motivation in Being the ‘Only Girl’
NSPE’s representative to the New Faces of Engineering for 2014 is Felicia Knox, E.I.T., an Oregon engineer working at SHN Consulting Engineers and Geologists Inc. in Coos Bay. In her brief time with the company, she has designed multiple drilled crossings with new and innovative techniques to bring economical and previously impossible solutions to districts on the West Coast.
The New Faces program, sponsored by DiscoverE, recognizes the outstanding abilities that engineers age 30 or younger have shown on projects that significantly impact public welfare or further professional development and growth.
When the application for the award asked what she wished she had been told about the profession before joining, Knox wrote that she wished she had known her “classmates and colleagues are going to be 85% male. Oh, and on a job site, you will be the only girl.” But she hasn’t let this reality hold her back. “This dynamic has only improved my confidence and the way I present myself. Because I am a woman, I am an engineer, and they better take me seriously.”
Knox participates in many volunteer activities, including Fundraising Against Cancer and helping a local fire department collect gifts and food for needy families. She says that “volunteering lifts burdens, creates opportunities, and brings happiness. I want to help make our world a better place.”
NSPE New Faces Runners-Up
John Core, P.E., has specialized in water distribution systems, sewer systems, and storm drainage through the study, design, permitting, and construction phases. He has performed this work for five years with WK Dickson in North Carolina. As secretary of the board for his local chapter of Professional Engineers of North Carolina, Core volunteers with MATHCOUNTS as well as the annual engineering career fair at North Carolina State University.
Ryan Dolan, E.I., works as a transmission planning engineer for American Electric Power in Ohio. He is currently working on a 5–10 year regional transmission expansion plan for a region spanning from Charleston, West Virginia, to southwestern Virginia. Dolan recently chaired the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers’ Engineers Week activities.
Virginia Norton, P.E., leads a team of engineers and designers at Dewberry in North Carolina, and has received a company spotlight award for her work. She also currently serves as the president-elect for her local chapter of the Professional Engineers of North Carolina, where she’s been involved in local MATHCOUNTS and Future City competitions.