Katie Smith

Katie Smith

System Analysis Engineer, Appalachian Power Company
Charleston, WV


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Close Up
  • What I Do

    I design/improve underground and overhead electrical systems. These systems range from serving residential to industrial customers.

  • Why Engineering?

    I chose engineering because I liked math and science, but mostly because I had a strong support system of family behind me.

  • School Days

    I attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology and graduated with two bachelor degrees. One is in electrical engineering and the other is in computer engineering. 

  • My Day At Work

    On a normal basis I evaluate load studies, find ways to improve electrical systems to reduce outages for customers, and decide if industrial customers will overload some systems.

  • Best Part

    I enjoy being able to solve problems such as how to get power to rural areas. 

  • Proud Moments

    My career is only a couple years old but I was recently named the lead of a sustainability team of Appalachian Power engineers. 

  • Challenges

    The largest challenges I faced was in college when some students looked down on my ability to learn due to my gender. 

  • My Family

    My parents got married very young and neither have college degrees but we're very supportive. I have one younger brother who is going to school to become a trauma nurse. I'm married to a man who has always been supportive of my career goals. 

  • Dreams and Goals

    My short-term goal is to become a supervisor in my group. My long-term goal is to possibly become a manager.

  • Inspiration

    My grandma and I were very close. She always told me I could do anything, no matter what.

  • Want to be an Engineer?

    If a young woman is considering engineering my advice would be to keep your head up no matter how difficult it is at times. Find some friends, 2 of my best friends are also women engineers and that helps when I'm having a bad day. 

  • Hobbies

    I love to cook, garden, and tinker on cars. I have shelves of books so I can't pick a favorite. 

  • Additional Thoughts

    My best memories from college were from joining IEEE(only club available at my school). I also suggest finding a mentor when entering the workforce.

Hi! I am an electrical engineer at Appalacian Power Company. I graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology with a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and a bachelors degree in computer engineering in December 2015. I have been employed with my company since November 2015. I became an engineer because I love a challenge and had a lot of support behind me from family and friends. I love what I do, and couldn't see myself doing anything else.
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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 science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to answer written interview questions to be posted on the EngineerGirl website.