Kristen Sanderson

Kristen A Sanderson

Systems Engineer
GE Energy Management
Kristen Sanderson
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As a Consulting Engineer at GE, I work across internal, external, and customer organizations to design, build and deploy Smart Grid software solutions worldwide that control and optimize the power grid. Over my 20 plus year career, I have held technical and managerial roles that have grown from hands-on to leadership in a globally distributed organization.

I have a BS in Computer Science with a Math minor from Auburn University.
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Kristen A Sanderson

I am very excited to hear that you are interested in becoming a software engineer.  A love for math and science is a definite plus when entering this field as a lot of your work will involve logical problem solving.  Software engineering is not a regulated course though there are many different certifications you can get depending on your specialty.  For example, there are cyber security certifications, Microsoft certifications, and many others.  Deciding what degree to get depends a lot on your interests.  An electrical engineering degree is usually more hardware oriented though there are electrical engineering disciplines that also have software elements (such as Power System engineers that focus on electricity and the power grid), Computer Engineering focus on the combination of hardware and software, and Software Engineering focuses on how to build software.  These are general statements.  You would really need to look at the curriculums at each university and also what electives and specialties they have.  This is a great time to be a woman in software.  It is widely recognized that there are not enough women in this field, and there is proven research that a diverse team provides better solutions.  In fact, since every company will have software in some way in the next 10 years, it’s a great field for everyone.”

As an engineer in a global company, I can say that I hire people from all over the world and your situation would not present a problem.  What might matter, depending on your specific field, is whether you need any local certifications (like PE) to work in the area you choose.  I imagine the answer to this could vary from company to company.  I wish you well and good luck!

I am so glad you are interested in this field! System engineering looks across all of the parts of a system and figures out how to put them together. It's very much like solving a puzzle. As a System Engineer, I help design how the pieces should fit together and then I work with all of the different people involved in the project to make sure things come togther correctly. I work with Energy - building software systems manage distribution of electricity to your home. To do this, I help get information to the right systems so that we can make the power flow better, solve outages, and keep the power grid stable. There are a lot of different problems to solve in my job that require system engineering skills. I draw a lot of pictures on my computer to help people understand the issues and the solutions. I talk to a lot of different people both within my company and also at my customer sites to do my job effectively. I hope this has helped you understand more about what I do. Please let me know if you have more questions I can answer for you. Kristen