Women in Engineering: An Interview with Alana Giangrasso

Women in Engineering: An Interview with Alana Giangrasso

Engineering is for everyone. RPA Engineering is proud to empower Women in Engineering and hope 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 Alana Giangrasso, a Project Manager and Mechanical Engineer here at RPA.

What is your degree/specialty?

BS in Mechanical Engineering
Minor in Engineering Mechanics

What is your role at RPA?

I provide Project Management for multiple simultaneous projects which involves managing schedule, budget, resource planning, and mitigating risks. I also provide overall client relationship management and proposal activity. In addition, I lead multi-discipline engineering teams, ensuring effective communication and coordination on assigned projects between all disciplines.

What inspires you about Engineering?

What inspires me about engineering is doing things that no one else has done before. It’s always exciting to create something new or improve on something that already exists. At the core, engineers are problem solvers looking for solutions to improve quality, cost, or efficiency of a product or service. Engineering is so broad and there can be many different possible solutions to the same problem. You can do so much within the world of engineering – there will always be more to learn and something new to discover.

What is your favorite type of engineering solution?

My favorite type of solution is one that improves quality of life in some way. The best solutions are unique and make a true impact on a group of people.

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

Women may face bias and discrimination that can affect our confidence, create a difficult working environment, and even discourage women from pursuing a career in engineering or sticking with it. As a woman in a male-dominated field, it can be challenging to really be heard and disappointing when your ideas are ignored or abruptly dismissed. In addition, there is a lack of mentorship opportunities from other women in technical or leadership roles. Sometimes we must go above and beyond to prove we are capable and earn due respect.

What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?

I hope to see more women in engineering pursuing their passions while feeling supported and empowered. I look forward to improved gender equality and inclusion within STEM, which includes flexibility and equal opportunities for career advancement. I hope schools continue to encourage young girls to get involved in STEM so that women are no longer a minority within their teams and in decision making roles. I hope girls and women feel like they belong. And when a woman tells someone that they are an engineer, they do not get the response “you don’t look like an engineer.”

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