Diana Manning
Diana Manning
Systems Engineering Advisor, Base2 Solutions
WA

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  • What I Do

    At present I work for an engineering consulting firm that focuses in both software development and systems engineering.  I use my many years of experience to help our clients through their projects via systems engineering methodologies.  Great experience and lots of new industries and approaches to learn.

    Prior to working for this firm, I spent many years in the commercial aircraft business - designing or leading teams of engineers in developing propulsion systems for commercial aircraft.  Within this area, I have spent several years on multiple engine/airframe combinations as a designer, analytical engineer, integrator and finally in several leadership roles.

  • Why Engineering?

    When I was in high school, the local university (University of Colorado, Boulder) had a 3 day program in the summer months that exposed high school kids to engineering.  Based on my strengths in math and science, my school counseler had selected me to go.  I chose to go based on 3 days away from home in a new and exciting place - because I didn't know what an engineer was or did.  Those 3 days opened my eyes to a wonderful world where problem solvers pool their talents to invent/create amazing things.  I was hooked.

  • School Days

    I am an alumni of the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  I am active in giving back to the department - I believe my education was a wonderful gateway to many years of success.

  • My Day At Work

    At present I am on team of engineers working to develop a software tool that will develop aircraft configurations quickly and efficiently for downstream users, such as the factory.  This project is in the early stages - so we are innovating as we go.

    In my prior role, I would spend a lot of time working to problem solve issues uncovered by our customers - working with our engineers or our suppliers' engineers to ensure a high quality and timely resolution.

  • Best Part

    I love to problem solve!  Issues that pop up are like a puzzle, where you break it down into bite size chunks and sort out how to work each piece.

  • Proud Moments

    There have been many - but for me seeing a new airplane fly away with engines humming beautifully is the best!  I never get tired of that.  I also think of the team that made that possible and am proud of them and their hard work to get to that delivery.

  • Challenges

    When I started working - there were very few female engineers - which can be intimidating.  I felt the biggest challenges I worked through was proving I was a capable engineer and should be heard.  Sometimes my biggest critic was myself - I was harder on myself than my male colleagues were.  It took some time - but as you begin to believe in yourself more - you give off that confidence and your colleagues pick up on that and accept it.

  • My Family

    My husband (also an engineer) and I have 2 boys who are engineers as well.  We enjoyed what we were doing enough for it to rub off on them and they will definitely go further in new technologies, doing things we never imagined.

  • Dreams and Goals

    I am now in the later stages of my career and so my goals are focused on passing on the things I learned and providing a support for young women who are either just starting as engineers or still not sure what they want to do.  As I mentioned earlier about self-confidence, if I can help someone see they are able to do anything they want - if they can believe in themselves enough to get there - then I will consider myself very successful.

  • Inspiration

    My greatest influences were my father - a math and science teacher and my sisters who both conquered their own arenas in ways that were not stereotypical for women at the time.  

    My mother was also a great role model on how to be kind and generous while not compromising your ability to do a great job at whatever you want to do.

  • Want to be an Engineer?

    If you find solving problems interesting and like to understand how things work - engineering may be just the thing for you.  I realize it seems like a male dominated world - but actually there are a lot of talented women engineers and there is always room for more.  Engineering is so diverse - you can find just about any area to apply yourself - whether it is aerospace, software, biomedical, environmental, etc .  The possibilities are endless.  Every time I see a plane flying, I can be proud that I helped make that happen - people are connecting all of the world, because of something I did.  Just about every where you look - an engineer had something to do with it - buildings, roads, cars, your cell phone, house hold electronics, etc. etc. etc.

  • Hobbies

    Outside of work, I enjoy the outdoors by hiking, skiing and gardening.  I also love to read and enjoy volunteering.  I am a tutor at a local middle school in the AVID program that helps kids with their study and problem-solving skills.  I also actively support the ME dept at CU by serving on an advisory board.

Biography
I grew up in Denver and obtained my mechanical engineering degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). I moved to the Pacific Northwest after school where I now live with my husband (also an engineer). We have 2 grown sons whom we are very proud of who also have become engineers. After graduation, I went to work for the Boeing Company in Seattle. Over 32+ years at the company, I spent most of my time in Propulsion Systems Engineering for Commercial Airplane. I got the chance to work most of the Seattle based airplane models and several aspects in the life of the aircraft – early design, certification, delivery and fleet support. I progressed through design, analysis and integration type roles and into management – finishing as a senior level manager on the 787. After leaving Boeing, I joined a local consulting firm where I am able to use my experience to help our clients be successful with their projects. In return I am learning a lot about other industries and other project development approaches (e.g. Agile, SAFe). Outside of work, I enjoy the outdoors by hiking, skiing and gardening. I also love to read and enjoy volunteering. I am a tutor at a local middle school in the AVID program that helps kids with their study and problem-solving skills. I also actively support the ME dept at CU by serving on an advisory board.
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Education
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Volunteer Opportunities
  • 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 a sponsor or coach for an engineering club or team.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
  • I am willing to answer written interview questions to be posted on the EngineerGirl website.
Latest Questions
  • Jeni

    Added Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 4:45 PM

    I have a little bit of a hard time talking and people either cut me off, or don't always listen to me. I have a very small stammer, so it's hard for me sometimes to say the right thing. I sometimes get mixed up and say things differently then what I meant to say. Could that affect me with someday working as a Mechanical Engineer?

    Answers 1
    Diana Manning, Base2 Solutions
    Answered Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 10:42 AM
    I don't think that should stop you.  A couple of things, begin to work on your communication skills now, to build your confidence.  There are organizations out there that can help.  I am assuming you are sill in school, so your school counselor may be ...
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