Stephanie Lewis

Stephanie E Lewis

Associate Engineer
Atmos Energy
Stephanie Lewis
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Hi! I am a mechanical engineer at Atmos Energy. I Graduated from University of New Orleans May 2013 with a B.S.M.E. Been employed as a Pipeline Integrity engineer since June 2013. I love my career, my company and women engineers (men too)!

BSME - 2013
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Answers by Stephanie E Lewis

First of all, congrats on your aspiriations! What an accomplishment it will be to become a Petroleum Egnineer. I wish that I could tell you that gender stereotyping does not exist, but that would  be a lie. However let me tell you some great things about being a women in "man's world". Things are changing and more and more women are entering into the engineering profession. It is being recognized by the biggest and best companies that women engineers are a vital asset to companies, and thus smart and successful women are being seeked out. NOW is the time to get into the profession. Petroleum engineers can work offshore and onshore. It depends what you want to do and what your goals are. There are millions of engineering jobs in the petroleum engineering field that are suitable for women. It is silly t think otherwise. Really. There are many opportunities out there for women, MANY!! I am a woman in the Natural Gas pipeline industry and yes it is predominately men, but I am respected and treated as everyone else because I got in with a great company. Pleae, for the sake of all women, do not give up and do not be discouraged by other's input. I am sure your friends and family only want what is best for you, but maybe they are unaware of how the world is changing in that aspect. 

An ability to understand the curriculum and apply it to real world problems is far more important than good grades. If one make's all A's due to cheating, than obviously the grades mean nothing. On the other hand, one who works through college and maintains a active family and/social life and has a C average due to time contracints for studying, could still potentially be an excellent computer engineer. It is all about a person's committment and ability.

Upon graduation or around the time prior to graduation, you will have an option to take a "FE" or "EIT" (name depends on your state licesning board) exam. This will provide a certification as an Engineer in Training. After about 4 years of professional experience under a licensed PE (Professional Engineer), you will then take another exam, the PE. Again, different states have different procedures and guidelines. With a PE, you will be considered a licensed and professional engineer. 

Well first of all it is important to think ahead and decided what a "normal wife and mother" means to YOU. There are many women engineers who I am sure work long hours with plenty of overtime, but I would think that most work average full-time hours. I happen to work for a great company and am RARELY asked to work overtime. So in my case, I could be a great wife and mother. No I wouldn't be home with my kids all day, everyday, but that is not how I want my life to be anyway. I want my children to grow up in an environment where it is normal for both parents to work. 

Hello Nurse Desiree,

First of all, I believe that being an older female should not be a challenge for you as an entry level engineer as long as you are motivated and looking to cotinue a, at times, challenging career. I don't mean challenging in a 'hard' way, I mean more like a fullfilling career. From my experience, women engineers are needed and wanted! Big companies are really starting to see what women add to the workplace and we there is still a short of women engineers in the world. Now is the time to get in!
Obviously Petro/Chem would be the easiest and safest route for getting into the gas industry but it certainly is not the only one. I myself am a Mechanical Egineer and I certainly do not regret my decision to go this route. Mechanical engineering is the broadest of all the sub-specialties. You will have many many options or where your career can go. I am working in gas industry, and I have friends who are working in engine design, fire alarm systems design, piping design, oil drilling, auto industry, air/space industry, etc. I don't know of any electro-chemical majors but I have no doubt that it would also provide you a broad list of options for careers. Arch. and Building/Envir Systems don't jump out to me as ways to get into the gas industry. But that doesnt mean that you should totally discount those options either. 
I have heard time and time again nurses saying that did not enjoy their work and wanted change. I can honestly say I have NEVER heard that come from an engineer. I think it is because engineers can do so many different things with their career. And many engineers move into management at some point in life if they want to. 
In school when you get to your first few engineering classes it is usually easier to decide if it is for you or not. I hope I helped a bit. Please feel free ask me and more questions. You can email me @ if you need. Best wishes Desiree. 

Stephanie E. Lewis, Associate Engineer
Atmos Energy