“[Sustainability is] about looking at the entire building. It’s not a singular issue; it’s multidisciplinary. Why are we investing in sustainability? It’s to complement the other practices within the company.”

How did you first hear about Thornton Tomasetti and what was your impression?
The first time I heard about Thornton Tomasetti was through Gunnar Hubbard, who is head of the Sustainability practice. I saw that they cared about their employees, that they supported their staff; that they believed in sustainability. Those were things that were of value to me. It’s about looking at the entire building; it’s about looking at the skin; it’s about looking at the interiors. It’s not a singular issue; it’s multidisciplinary, and I was interested in expanding my opportunities with sort of multidisciplinary collaboration, and I think that’s what Thornton Tomasetti wants. Why are they investing in sustainability? It’s to complement the other practices within the company. A lot of work that we do is supporting the design that the architects want to put into place and help from the sustainability side, whether it’s looking at energy efficiency or into air-quality issues. We’re really supporting the architect and how they’re designing their buildings.

What evidence did you find supporting career development for younger people?
I think there are really great working relationships between more seasoned professionals and younger engineer staff, and I think there are real mentoring opportunities. And I see the real value to younger staff that are coming in and their ability to work in the trenches and learn from others who have been there. If you have an idea that you’re interested in pursuing, there’s real support and opportunity, if it’s supporting the practices, for you to run with it.

What are the distinctive qualities of the people at the firm?
One of the reasons I love Thornton Tomasetti is the people. I think people are just really good people. I think they care, and you want to sit down and have lunch with them. You enjoy their company. There’s not a lot of big egos, and I think that’s a real plus.

Talk about your experience as woman in a predominantly male field.
What I’m noticing more and more, as I have gotten older, more seasoned in the profession – in architecture and engineering – is that there is still a need for networking, mentorship and discussion about issues that affect young women in these professions. And so Thornton Tomasetti has created “Women @ TT,” which I think is a wonderful group, where Aine Brazil and Jenifer Johnson came around, and we met all the women in our office. So for me it’s something that at this point in my career, I’m really looking forward to being able to mentor and provide some guidance to some of the younger staff.

 

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