Girl Talk: Engineers share stories

Published 12:30 am Saturday, February 11, 2017

For years, engineering has been a predominately male field, but Covington County Career Coach Beth Dean aims to help more women get into the field.

This is the second year Dean has held a luncheon at which students can hear from young women in the engineering field.

This year’s speakers were Courtney Bowers of PowerSouth and DeAnn Grantham from Southern Engineering Solutions.

Bowers is a civil engineer who works as transmission engineer. Grantham is a biosystems engineer who works as a project manager. Both are Auburn graduates.

“The luncheon is for junior female students who have demonstrated an interest in or an aptitude for engineering fields,” Dean said.

Eighteen female students from Florala High School, Pleasant Home School; Red Level High School and Straughn High School attended.

“Mrs. Bowers spoke to the students about civil engineering and the many types of engineering that fall under the category such as geotechnical, structural, environmental and construction engineering and management,” Dean said. “She also explained what a transmission engineer is and how she uses many types of civil engineering in her everyday job of designing power transmission poles.”

Bowers talked about her classes at Auburn and shared her stories as well as stories of classmates, including where she and her classmates went to work right after college and how she was able to return to Andalusia.

“Mrs. Grantham had an interest in agricultural engineering, which Auburn changed to biosystems engineering about the time she entered college,” Dean said. “She showed the students photographs of the many projects she has been a part of while at Southern Engineering Solutions, including roads, water treatment facilities and other important infrastructure projects. She works a great deal with small towns and municipalities in coming up with solutions to any infrastructure issues they may be having, as well as assisting with finding funding for those projects in some cases through grants.”

Dean said the pair discussed benefits of internships and co-op programs while in college.

“For both of them, this provided income, as well as valuable experience, which has helped in finding and performing their jobs after college,” she said. “They also discussed with the students that while there are fewer women in their field, they feel that they are respected and treated fairly.”

Attending were Riley Grace Lowery, Madison Griffin, Sydney Bulger, Lauren Greathouse, Hannah Lawless, Abigail Livingston, Madison Kelly, Claire Cox, Lindsey Edgar, Jessica Aplin, Gracie Weeks, Tyler Mitchell, Adrian Jordan, Morgan Jackson, Byanca Grace, Kentric Nevlous, Tori Hall and Madason Dunsford.