Jill S. Tietjen

Jill S. Tietjen P.E.

Title
President and CEO
Organization
Technically Speaking, Inc.
Location
CO
Jill S. Tietjen
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Biography

I am proud to work in the electric utility industry - helping to provide electricity to power our world. I serve as a consultant and provide expert witness services in the areas of planning for power plants and rates. For over 30 years, I have worked to get more women in the engineering field. An engineering career is so meaningful - engineers make the world work.

Education
B.S., Applied Mathematics (minor, Electrical Engineering), University of Virginia. M.B.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Registered Professional Engineer, Colorado.
  • 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 be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Jill S. Tietjen P.E.

Ronnie:

Yes, I highly encourage you to pursue the community college route on the way to your BS in EE.  Many students – in fact, about half – enroll in community college for the first two years of their engineering education.  It allows the students to finish up many of the basic classes (calculus, chemistry, physics, etc.) at a lower cost than enrolling at the university.  Many universities have what are called “articulation agreements” that specify which classes at the community college transfer in at what credit level.  I say – go for your BS in EE!!! 

Jill S. Tietjen, P.E.

Hello Kala,

 You have asked some excellent questions. Engineers always have to consider cost, time, and labor when they think about their projects. For example, in my work, helping to select the new power plant for an electric utility, three cost factors are important – capital, operating and maintenance, and fuel. A car is a good analogy to a power plant. The capital cost is how much it costs to buy the car. The operating and maintenance cost is how much is costs to keep it in good repair – changing the oil, rotating the tires, fixing things when they break. The fuel cost is the gasoline. These power plants have to operate for around 30 years, so the costs to build, operate and fuel them are very important. 

Engineers often run projects and are thus very involved in the business aspect. The project has to become operational on time. It must be at or below budget. And it must be done with the human resources (labor) and equipment that are available or made available. I have a Masters in Business Administration in addition to my engineering degree. This has helped me be a manager and understand the finance and accounting side of the business – from income statements, to cash flow, to balance sheets.

Industrial engineers, like every other kind of engineer, encompass a wide variety of possible environments. The types of clothes they wear vary with the environment and the needs of their projects. 

One of my very favorite books to recommend to you is called “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers” by Sybil Hatch. One of the industrial engineers featured in this book helped create and develop Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Florida. She traveled to water parks around the U.S. and studied layouts, rides and guest patterns to use in designing the Disney resort. (I bet she wore a bathing suite to work!) Another industrial engineer featured in that book designed a slide to help tiny shrimp and other marine life return to the ecosystem rather than get pulled into a pump drawing water for a power plant. Her inspiration for the low-friction device was fiberglass swimming pool slides. 

I’ve been an engineer for a long time – and I highly recommend engineering as a career for women!

Jill S. Tietjen

Hi Grace,

I am a graduate of the University of Virginia and believe that you can get an excellent engineering education at many institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For aerospace engineering in particular, your two choices are Virginia Tech and UVa, both excellent schools.

You should take as much math as you can in high school, through calculus if possible, and in the sciences, you should have biology, chemistry and physics.

Good luck!