Engineer K. Hentrich Cites an Early Love of Mathematics as the Spark that Led her to Becoming an Engineer

Camille Thompson
Feb 24, 2021 9:34:06 AM

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This week marks the start of 'Engineers Week 2021', a week long national celebration of engineering. Founded by the National Society for Professional Engineers in 1951, "EWeek (February 21–28, 2021) is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers." (www.nspe.org)

In honor of this national celebration, PBA asked a few of its engineers who are at different stages in their careers, 'what inspired them to become engineers'? We also asked them to describe 'what they love about engineering'?

Katie Hentrich is a project leader with PBA's K-12 schools group. Katie has been with PBA for 12 years' following her graduation from Lawrence Tech University with a degree in mechanical engineering. We first asked her about what inspired her to become an engineer.

Hentrich: "Ever since I was a child, mathematics was my favorite subject in school. I loved that there was always a solution to the problem and it was something that came naturally to me.

Throughout the years, I had amazing teachers who kept my love for math alive which eventually led me to engineering. My first encounter with engineering that sparked my interest occurred when I was 13 years old. My 8th grade algebra teacher brought in a civil engineer into our class to discuss his job and to show us a real world application of his work using the math we were learning. It was then when I discovered the field of engineering and knew that it was something that I wanted to pursue.

Through hard work, love and support from family and friends, I was able to make it a reality."

PBA: "What do you love about engineering?"

Hentrich: "While in college studying mechanical engineering, I had an advisor who always exuded pure excitement about engineering and it was infectious. Every time I would leave a meeting with him, it would renew the joy and pride I had within myself to become an engineer.

To be an engineer means to create something that wasn’t there before and to make the world a better place. What I love the most about engineering is that it’s challenging but a rewarding career that allows me to contribute to society and to provide comfort and safety to those around me. At the same time, I also get to be creative and use problem-solving techniques because no one project is exactly the same.

It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you are a week away from retiring, engineering is always evolving. Everyday provides me with something new to learn and allows me to continue to grow."

For more information about Engineers Week 2021 go to: https://www.nspe.org/resources/partners-and-state-societies/national-engineers-week and to learn about DiscoverE Engineers Week programs go to: http://discovere.org/our-programs/engineers-week

Peter Basso Associates, Inc., a 100% employee-owned firm, is ranked among the Top 100 Consulting Engineering Firms in the nation. We offer a competitive compensation package including paid vacation, medical, dental, disability, and 401k.

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