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Katherine (Pratt) Winters

Civil Engineering , Class of 2007
Research Civil Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." -George Bernard Shaw

My story involves a lot of changes. I started at BYU in 2003 majoring in mechanical engineering with an Air Force ROTC scholarship. After the freshman seminar I realized I just didn’t get excited about ME projects. They were impressive, but not for me. I switched to civil engineering for my second semester and really became passionate about civil projects. I decided not to join the Air Force and dropped my ROTC scholarship.

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Erica Zaugg

Civil Engineering, Class of 2016
Engineering Intern for Provo City

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." -C.S. Lewis

My whole life recently changed with the birth of my son, August. I completed my finals at 8 months pregnant (which is a story in and of itself!). Now my life is filled with bottles and blankies. My son is seriously the most adorable human ever made (at least he is to me!). My entire focus right now is making a good life for my son. Right now, that means graduating and getting a good job! I currently work as an intern for Provo City, while going to school full time, and trying to be a mom. It's a lot on my plate, but I am loving every second of it (well...maybe not the 3 a.m. feedings.

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Jenni Glauser

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2008
Aerospace/Jet Engines

Engineering is getting a degree in problem solving. As a stay-at-home-mommy I use those skills everyday!

I am an aerospace engineer.  I worked for Pratt & Whitney in the Flight Test group for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter military jet.  I looked at the jet engine data after a test flight and made sure the thermocouples and pressure transducers inside the engine behaved normally and trended with the predictive simulations I ran.  We then sent the approval to the government so they knew the engine was working as expected and that they can safely move on to the next test flight.

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Emily Poff

Chemical Engineering, Class of 2003
Family Physician

Don't be afraid to dream big!

After graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering, I went on to medical school and now work as a part time rural family physician practicing full spectrum family medicine including emergency, obstetrical, hospital and outpatient medicine.  I am also married and mom to a beautiful baby girl with a rare genetic disorder.  Needless to say life is busy and full!  My engineering training has benefited many aspects of my life including my medical practice and as a mother.

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Shelly Gibby Vidmar

Civil Engineering, Class of 1993
Math Teaching Assistant at a Charter School

The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling - Fabienne Fredrickson

Graduating from the Civil Engineering program has shaped my life.  I was able to work for the Utah Department of Transportation for 2 years focusing on Traffic and Safety.  A few weeks after starting my job, I had the best suprise of my life to find out that I was expecting my daughter.  I continued to work for the first year of her life while my husband worked on completing his own degree in Civil Engineering at BYU.

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Sarita Rogers

Civil Engineering, Class of 2006
Full-time mom

"Reason and solve problems logically."

Sarita Rogers graduated with a master’s in Civil Engineering, with a structural emphasis. Since then she has worked extensively in the field of structural engineering, first at Treasure Valley Engineers and later working part time from home.

Rogers shared how her engineering background has benefitted her life.

“I think engineering teaches you how to reason and solve problems logically and then present your solutions clearly. This skill is so useful in all facets of my life.”

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Nancy P. Ferrell

Civil Engineering, Class of 1980
Patrell Engineering INC.

"If you ACT enthusiastic, you will BE enthusiastic - Anonymous"

I was a student at BYU in the mid to late 1970s.  There were very few women in the Civil Engineering Department or the Engineering College as a whole back then.  We often felt like hand cart pioneers.  But, those were wonderful days and they truly prepared me for success in a male dominated field!  Choosing engineering as my college major has brought me an amazing life that has exceeded anything that I could have imagined when I graduated from BYU in 1980! 


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Kirsty Ferrell

Civil Engineering, Class of 2012
Patrell Engineering INC.

"Know the fundamentals of engineering in your beginning classes."

Kirsty Ferrell spends an average day doing a lot of AutoCAD drafting. The firm she works for specializes in structural design of swimming pools, aquatic facilities and rock formations. This line of work is especially fitting for Ferrell who, in addition to being an engineer, is also an avid swimming enthusiast.

“One of my passions has always been swimming. It was a goal of mine to compete at the collegiate level while I was a young swimmer. It was an amazing experience being able to go to BYU and compete on their Swim and Dive team.”

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Megan Woodhouse Needham

Chemical Engineering, Class of 2007
Full-time mother and patent attorney

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." -- Walter Bagehot

My high school chemistry teacher was so amazing we called him "Dr. Weld" even though he didn't have a doctorate.  During my second semester in his class I decided that I wanted to study chemistry in college, but chemistry in and of itself didn't quite sound practical.  Chemical engineering though, now what could be more practical than engineering?  So it was settled.  I decided as a sophomore in high school to study chemical engineering.

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Aubrey Pratt

Computer Engineering, Class of 2005
L-3 Communications, Communication Systems West

"Don’t Worry, Be Happy"

I’ve always liked fiddling around with computers, but I didn’t start out at BYU planning to get an engineering degree. As a freshman, I took the first programming class offered by the Computer Science (CS) department to see if I might like it... I did. 


Pursuing an engineering degree was not easy for me. I had many late nights working on various software and hardware projects. Once I had to dash across campus to the Clyde building’s all-night CAEDM lab when the CS computer labs in the Talmage building closed! 


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Cari Ferrell

Civil Engineering, Class of 2009
Tetra Tech

"Learn how to ask good questions."

Cari Ferrell works full-time for an international environmental engineering firm, where she has a broad spectrum of remediation projects. Her work ranges from the initial phase of a project to the final stages, and everything in between.

Ferrell said that the ability to ask questions is a benefit both in school and in the workplace.

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Steffanie Kuehn Frandsen

Electrical Engineering, Class of 2009
Full-time mom

"Let yourself do hard things - but also let yourself make mistakes."

My senior year of high school I was trying to decide what to study in college - I hadn't planned on engineering, but I loved math and physics and I knew I wanted a challenge. Electrical engineering seemed exciting and complex and before I knew it I was nose deep in books in the Clyde building.

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Julie Pike

Civil Engineering, Class of 2011
Volkert Inc.

"Separate school from home life."

Julie Pike currently works with hydraulics and hydrology, skills she honed on the Water Resources study abroad to Latin America. Before receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU, she also completed several internships. Pike currently specializes in roadway and bridge design hydrology.

Pike addressed the issue of student stress.

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Tamara Rabidi

Civil and Environmental Engineering, Class of 2009
Arab Consultants Bureau

"Work hard, study hard and party hard."

After graduating from BYU, Tamara Rabadi moved back to Jordan to work in the area of hydrology and water resources. The consultancy firm she works for specializes in environmental solutions. One of Rabadi’s current projects is the site selection for the first nuclear power plant in Jordan. “I would have to say that getting in the engineering field has changed my life completely,” Rabadi said. “One thing that a lot of people do not get is that it’s a lifestyle.” Rabadi said that the engineering program prepares students to think differently and develop a wide array of useful attributes.

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