Women in Engineering: An Interview with Amie Hehnly

Women in Engineering: An Interview with Amie Hehnly

Engineering is for everyone. RPA Engineering is proud to empower Women in Engineering and hopes to inspire future generations of women in STEM. Through this series, we celebrate engineering professionals in a collection of interviews with engineers, designers, and project managers.

This month we interviewed Amie Hehnly, Electrical Designer, here at RPA Engineering.

What is your job title and area of research/work?

I am an Electrical Designer and I have an Associates Degree in Interior Design.

What is your role at RPA?

I am an Electrical Designer specializing in Lighting Design, working in both AutoCAD and Revit.

How or why did you choose engineering as a career path/area of study?

My father was a masonry contractor, and I grew up going to the jobsites and reviewing the blueprints. When I went to Art School for Interior Design, we had AutoCAD training. I then got a job with an architect that did MEP as well as Design Build Construction. There was an Electrical Contractor that helped me with Electrical and Lighting Design and I was hooked.

What inspires you about Engineering?

Engineering and Design is like putting a puzzle together – you have to figure out how the previous Engineer designed the job and how to conform to the new methods of technology. Plus, you need to consider the most cost-effective method for the client.

Also, I feel that looking at a blueprint is like looking at art. Every designer has their own style and technique and it’s important for me to create a good drawing set.

What challenges do women face in the Engineering professions or academia?

Construction has typically been a male dominated field with some males not taking you seriously. But, for the most part, once they’ve gotten to know me and see that I am qualified, they’ve treated me fairly over the years.  

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

Again, I feel I get to create art in the drawings I create. I feel it’s important to always try to save the client money as well as provide the best product possible.

I believe common sense is still key in using the ever-changing technology. I really enjoy learning Revit, which has been my biggest challenge of late – but if you can believe it you can do it, you can. And I am always trying to work smarter to get the computer and programs to do more.

What does a typical day in your job involve?

Every day is different, which is really nice. I usually am working in AutoCAD and/or Revit. I also do Lighting Calculation in Visual and prepare lighting cut sheets. Every now than I get to go to jobsites. 

What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?

I hope that people come into this field that want to learn and grow; respect the past, but also move into the future with technology.

What would you say to young women in school/college who may be considering Engineering as a career choice?

It’s a really an exciting field with so many different avenues you can go into – the possibility are endless. I, myself, started in Interior Design and ended up in Lighting Design. They all work hand in hand in some form or another.

What is your favorite kind of engineering problem to solve?

How to provide the client with the most cost-effective lighting layout – getting the most bang for your buck so to speak. That might mean adding fewer lights that are more expensive, but, in the end, you are saving the client on labor and materials and maintenance. 

say hello.

Scroll to Top