Celebrating Women in Engineering Day

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6/23/2023 2:27:38 PM

Today is Women in Engineering Day, a global celebration of the work and achievements of women engineers and an opportunity to highlight careers in engineering. At Michael Baker International, our female engineers Make a Difference each day for our company, our clients and our communities.

In honor of Women in Engineering Day, we sat down with our colleagues to hear their perspectives and the unique experiences that have helped shape their careers in engineering.


Angela Nocera, P.E.

National Market Lead – Army

Mobile, Alabama


Michael Baker: What excites you most about the future of your field?

Angela Nocera: As civil engineers, we are tasked with building and reconstructing the infrastructure that forms the backbone of civilization. Our projects affect the daily lives of every citizen in every way imaginable. Clean water, efficient transit, safe parks, reliable utilities, defense – the list is endless! As our politicians continually dialogue about inequities in communities and our changing environments, I am most excited to know that we have an increased responsibility and ability to create positive changes through the work that we do on a daily basis.


Marionne Lapitan, E.I.T., ENV SP

Civil Associate

Santa Ana, California

Michael Baker: Who/What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Marionne Lapitan: Both of my parents were university professors (of math and computer science) in the Philippines, so I spent hours of my childhood in their office/classrooms after school! Their co-workers and students even taught me math tricks that I ended up using in my geometry and algebra courses at school years later. Being on a college campus for hours as a kid allowed me to learn about the endless possibilities of a "dream career" and the importance of STEM in transforming lives. So, growing up, I wanted to be everything. When I realized that wasn't possible and had to choose one, I found civil engineering to be the next best thing!

In high school, I was a part of the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) program hosted by the CSULB College of Engineering K-12 Outreach and Recruitment, where we visited transportation agencies in Southern California. It opened my eyes to the work local civil engineers do every day, from design to construction. The speakers from the program also shared their passions in helping others and how their work plays a massive role in it. Ever since then, I’ve never looked back! Civil engineering was the perfect combination of my passion for making a difference and being my version of "everything."


Susan Lancaster, P.E.

Project Manager – Roadway

Cary, North Carolina


Michael Baker: What advice do you have for other women in the industry?

Susan Lancaster: Never stop learning and growing your skills; there is always something new to learn. I think I love roadway design the best because you have to learn about all disciplines to be good. Always ask your questions — you'll be surprised, thankful and maybe even help someone else out along the way.


Nicole Bennati, P.E., S.E., LEED Green Associate, CQM-C

Director – Architectural Engineering

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Michael Baker: What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Nicole Bennati: While I have had the opportunity to work on many exciting and challenging projects throughout my career at Michael Baker as a structural engineer, my proudest achievement is my recent promotion to Director of Architectural Engineering. In this position, I am not only influencing the path of the structural department, but I have the ability to influence all of building engineering on the East Coast. I hope to play an important role in assisting building engineering in continuing to grow within Michael Baker but also into new markets. I also will have the ability to focus on improving our processes to better define how we approach quality control and internal technical reviews, and that will assist the whole group in providing the highest quality designs to our clients.


Patty Dunaway, P.E.

Office Executive

Louisville, Kentucky


Michael Baker: What excites you most about the future of your field?

Patty Dunaway: It’s always evolving with new technologies and opportunities, and engineers will always be in the forefront as the industry advances and grows.


Shayna Bramley, P.E.

Senior Project Manager – Electrical

Newark, New Jersey


Michael Baker: What advice do you have for other women in the industry?

Shayna Bramley: Find a mentor, male or female, who sees your potential and is willing to help you grow your career. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and ask for assignments that challenge you and provide new skill sets. Never stop learning. Never stay in a job where you do not feel valued or that does not allow you to balance work, family and your health.


Amanda Furr, P.E.

Office Executive

Little Rock, Arkansas


Michael Baker: What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Amanda Furr: I always loved math and science in school. Several engineering students came to my Pre-Cal class in high school and talked about careers in engineering, so I got really excited about the opportunities. I thought I would be designing cars, but building roads is better.


Alexa Diven

Civil Associate – Civil

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Michael Baker: What advice do you have for other women in the industry?

Alexa Diven: The advice I would give not only women, but young ladies as well, is to stay determined and have grit. Grit has made me push past so many obstacles and thoughts of not being good enough or not being able to be a woman engineer. But the goal is to be the best version of myself, and I will listen to myself and push myself for something I love doing even if people think you're not meant for the position or industry. You are the only person who can determine your future, so you must have grit, confidence and determination to hit your goals!


Debra Marsolini

Mapping Associate

San Diego, California


Michael Baker: What advice do you have for other women in the industry?

Debra Marsolini: Be bold and confident and don’t be intimidated by choosing a career in a traditionally male field.


Sravani Mallavarapu

Technical Specialist – Coastal Engineering

Alexandria, Virginia


Michael Baker: What excites you most about the future of your field?

Sravani Mallavarapu: I am excited to lead a project and a team in the future, as I am training to be a project manager.


Catherine Groover, P.E.

Civil Engineer – Aviation

Nashville, Tennessee


Michael Baker: What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

Catherine Groover: My family history. For generations, the grandfathers on both sides were engineers. I come from a long line of engineers and am proud to be my family’s first woman engineer.


Jenna Clark, P.E.

Project Manager – Drainage

Santa Ana, California


Michael Baker: What excites you most about the future of your field?

Jenna Clark: I'm excited to see how 1D and 2D modeling is further incorporated into projects. It's amazing to see what that technology can do, from replicating rain events, to dam breach analysis, to sea level rise predictions — and that's only scraping the surface of what this kind of modeling can be used for.




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