Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor

Kathleen Taylor
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What do you do in your current work situation?
Retired from General Motors. Currently participate on  NAE study panels.

Why did you choose engineering?
I did not want to be poor, I liked chemistry, and I believed I could get a job with a chemistry degree.

Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
AB Chemistry, Douglass College
PhD Northwestern University

What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
Catalysis research.
Research management

What do you like best about being an engineer?
The money. Working with a terrific group of engineers. Interesting and challenging work.

Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
Contributions to the development of the automobile catalytic converter.

What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
Not sure of this one

Please tell us a little about your family.
I have 3 sisters. I am married to Bruno Notari, a native of Italy. My mother was an artist. My father had his own contracting business.

What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
1-2 years:To improve my art work and spend time with family and friends.
10+ years: To be around.

What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
My parents, friends, teachers, co-workers

What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Just do it

Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I have been doing a lot of painting and connecting with family through my genealogy. Travels to Italy with my husband.

Answers by Kathleen Taylor

Yes, it is worth majoring in mechanical engineering. First the job market may be different when you graduate.  You should major in a field that you are interested in.  Engineering is always a good choice.  When you graduate you will select among the current opportunities and perhaps something that does not exist today.  Always be flexible.  You are getting an education; you are not going to trade school.

If you have a college degree in mechanical engineering already, you are qualified and should seek to work in the field. One never knows all there is to know and not all they even need for a particular job. There is lots of on-the-job learning. Keep working, keep studying. Learning is lifelong. If you do not have a degree in ME you may still be able to work in ME but you will have more catching up to do . You might want to pursue a MS in ME if your degree is in a related engineering field. If you do not have an engineering degree, you will have to start further back by taking undergraduate courses.

You need all of these skills as well as integrity. The math skills are part of the qualification for any engineering activity. The IT and communication skills are not an either/or if you want to advance in your career.

Hi, I also liked math and science when I was in school. My math homework always got done first. I took biology and chemistry in high school and physics when I was in college where I studied chemistry. I then went on for my PHD in chemistry with a project on catalysis which is very close to chemical engineering. Catalysis very important now with all the work being done to make fuels from alternative feed stocks such as woody wastes that contain cellulose. When I was in college almost no women got degrees in engineering. I might have studied chemical engineering if I had been in school ten years later. As for English, I did not particularly like my courses because I could not figure things out the way you can with math and science. I found when I was working, however, being able to write and speak clearly was important. In fact, as a manager I had to sign off on papers written by people who reported to me. i remember that I once spent a whole weekend reading a grammar book. That meant I had to know the grammar rules if I was going to tell someone that something was not correct. People can have their own style of writing so long as the message is clear. Of course, with spell check etc. on the computer this part of my job got a lot easier. Kathy Taylor