Can you tell me about your career journey and what led you to Ansys?
I joined Ansys a year ago after the acquisition of Cullimore and Ring Technologies (CRTech), the developers of the Thermal Desktop software. I had been with CRTech for 28 years. My first job after graduating from university was with Lockheed Martin working in the propulsion group and the thermal group. After that, I went to work in Scotland with Gates Rubber Company. I worked on a variety of engineering projects from development to quality testing.
How did you decide on a career in technology?
My father was an engineer. When I was in high school, I remember asking him what I should study at university. I liked both math and science. Of course, he answered: “Be an engineer.”
What work are you most proud of or excited about?
This is a difficult question because I have experienced multiple moments of accomplishment during my career. Working in the aerospace industry was very exciting. I worked on the Space Station proposal – and now the station has been orbiting since November 1998. Integrating into a new culture at Gates Rubber Company was a challenge. It is a very traditional industry and very male dominated. I took a break from engineering and trained polo ponies for 6 months when I returned from Scotland. And then as part of a small team with CRTech, we took a start-up company and made it a very successful engineering simulation software company.
What are you working on now?
I am very active in the integration of Thermal Desktop into the Ansys ecosystem. I spend a lot of time working with the Ansys sales and ACE teams to assist them in understanding what Thermal Desktop is, how it differs from other Ansys tools, and the opportunities that Thermal Desktop opens up for Ansys customers.
Could you share an example of a difficult moment in your career and how you overcame it?
I was the first female engineer at Gates in Scotland. There were times that they were not quite sure what to do with me. But I believe I succeeded in getting them to understand the benefits that I had to offer. Women have to work harder than men to get noticed.
With the acquisition of CRTech, I went from working for a company of 12 people to 5500 people. I decided that I would do my best to ensure that the transition was a success and that the Thermal Desktop product continued for our customers.
Is there a particular leadership experience that helped shape your career?
While working at Lockheed Martin, I was part of the high-potential program. It was a fast-track program to leadership. As a result, I was given the opportunity to enroll in various training courses that I would not have otherwise been exposed to. The program was specifically designed to identify young professionals and bring them into leadership roles quickly. I also have had an opportunity both at CRTech and now at Ansys to interface with and lead non-technical men and women. It has been a great learning experience to work with people that have different specialties from my own. For example, working with the export specialists to set up the CRTech export procedures, and working with the accountant to help her understand certain transactions.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I live in the mountains of Colorado. I love the outdoors. I spend my time hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and training my hunting dogs.
Is there anything you would like newcomers to Ansys to know?
For me Ansys is a big company. But I quickly realized that it is made up of individuals. And I have found that everyone at Ansys is very willing to answer questions about how to get things done, or how to find the right person for answers. Everyone was very welcoming.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to the next generation of women in STEM?
Do not be intimidated!! Don’t be embarrassed that you like math and science. The doors are wide open to you. The biggest changes in the world today are coming in technology, and it is great to be a part of it. Forge ahead!
Do you have a favorite quote?
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
The doors are wide open to you. The biggest changes in the world today are coming in technology, and it is great to be a part of it. Forge ahead!
Working in the Aerospace Industry was very exciting. I worked on the Space Station proposal – and now the station has been orbiting since November 1998.