NYPA Engineers, NYPA Staff, Women In Engineering

NYPA Recognizes its Women in Engineering: Tabitha Robinson

Throughout March, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with NYPA’s female engineers in honor of Women’s History Month. Today’s entry features a Q&A session with NYPA Account Executive Tabitha Robinson.

1. How did you enter the engineering field? How did you decide on your specialty? I really loved math throughout school, it was like another language to me. There really was no question in my mind that I was going to study engineering as an undergraduate.  It was a field where math was applicable, I was passionate about what I was learning, and there were jobs for everyone upon graduation.  In deciding my specialty, I chose Industrial Engineering because it was very business oriented, and I really enjoyed using numerical methods to solve problems.  I also naturally seek out efficiencies in everything I do, which is the core of Industrial Engineering.  It was a really good fit for me.

Tabitha Robinson

Tabitha Robinson

2. Did you have a female engineer as a mentor? I didn’t actually, but I had very good mentors.  My dad was an electrical engineer and I grew up doing odd jobs with his business and going to Georgia Tech (an engineering-heavy college) football games.  In college, I had a professor that opened many doors to me on the energy side of the business working with the Department of Energy and studying energy abroad in South America.

3. What makes you proud to work at NYPA? How long have you worked here? I’ve been here over 3 years now. NYPA has an incredible culture and has so many opportunities for its staff to learn about all sides of the business, from operations, to marketing and policy.

4. How many positions have you held at NYPA? I’ve held three positions now.  The first was with what was Business Development, then with Business Power Allocations and Compliance (BPAC) and now I’m in Key Accounts working with the government customers.

5. What things do you love most about engineering? Studying and practicing engineering really taught me problem solving techniques and how to learn on my own, which gives me the confidence that I can learn anything I set my mind to.  With the training I’ve been able to tackle projects in my career spanning operations, marketing, and strategic planning, among other areas.

6. What are the most difficult aspects of your job? What parts do you enjoy the most? My current job involves a lot of relationship management in a more technical space.  The challenge inherent to relationship management is constantly balancing the needs of the customer with the needs of the organization.  With that said, the reward is that I really enjoy all the people I get to work with in this role, internally and externally.

7. What project that you have worked on are you most proud of? Working with everyone in Economic Development to launch ReCharge New York was one of the most intense projects I’ve worked on in my career.  It was very rewarding to be able to apply knowledge from my engineering days to build evaluation and modeling methodologies that will remain in place for years to come.  It was a project where so many of us came together to successfully launch one of the NYS’s premier economic development programs. It’s so rewarding to be part of something like that.

8. What advice would you offer young women considering engineering as a profession?

  • Seek work that you are passionate about and take on obstacles as opportunities.
  • It’s OK to change your career path. I love the analogy that careers are often more like jungle gyms than ladders.
  • Focus on your strengths and talents. We all have weaknesses, but it’s our strengths and talents that set each of us apart.
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NYPA Engineers, NYPA Staff, Women In Engineering

NYPA Recognizes its Women in Engineering: Mei Lee

Throughout March, we’ll be posting a series of interviews with NYPA’s female engineers in honor of Women’s History Month. Our first entry features a Q&A session with NYPA Senior Electrical Engineer Mei Lee.PAH_7824edit

1. How did you enter the engineering field, and how did you decide on your specialty? I attended Brooklyn Tech High School, where I majored in electrical engineering. It was there that I became interested in engineering and saw that electrical engineering was a broad field to grow into.

2. Did you have a female engineer as a mentor? No – there were very few female engineers. Over the years, I would say that I have learned the most from engineers who have a deep knowledge and understanding of engineering: they taught me how important fundamentals are, especially when there is so much evolving today.

Mei Lee

Mei Lee

3. How many positions have you held at NYPA? One. I am a Senior Electrical Engineer with Energy Efficiency in the Engineering and Design group.

4. What makes you proud to work at NYPA? How long have you worked here? I’m proud to be part of a team of professionals that is dedicated to generating reliable electricity, while preserving our environment. As engineers, we have the ability to develop solutions that affect both today and tomorrow. I have been with NYPA for one year, and I also worked as an intern working in the Generation Planning group during the summer of my junior year in college.

5. What things do you love most about engineering? Engineering really has been a diverse journey for me and I love that I am able to be creative and to work on projects in so many different settings, in both the power and telecommunications field. The systems we build can impact so much in our daily lives.

6. What are the most difficult aspects of your job? What parts do you enjoy the most? The most difficult aspect is managing ever changing priorities…the best part is seeing it all come together.

7. What project that you have worked on are you most proud of? I am proud of the projects that have made an impact to the customer, the end user, the public. Right now I am working on initiatives for emergency generators and LED lighting.

8. What valuable lessons have you learned as your career as a female engineer has evolved? It’s important to be well-rounded and continue to evolve with our customers and our technology. There is always an opportunity to learn.

9. What advice would you offer young women considering engineering as a profession? Learn the fundamentals well so that you can deliver. I would also encourage young women to be proud of their decision and to complete their professional requirements (MS, PE License) in the early years. Down the road, it will be a challenge when juggling both family and career.

10. What is one thing about yourself that most people would find surprising? That I have worked on a such a wide range of projects – from supporting the electrical systems for power plants, hospitals, airport terminals, and even the World Trade Center (both then and now).  I have also enjoyed working on telecommunication networks from building out the wireless infrastructure and creating the O&M system needed to rollout a nationwide wireless broadband service.

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