Kim Linder
Dr. Kim Linder
Mechanical Engineer, Honeywell FM&T
Albuquerque, NM

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Close Up
  • Describe what you do in your current work situation.
    I am involved in custom product development, this involves finding the customer, learning their needs, developing the product, and delivering it to the customer. Products include machine vision systems, data analysis, image processing and sensor systems.
  • Why did you choose engineering?
    I have always had an interest (and been successful) in math and logic-type problems. The counselors at school encouraged me to go into engineering based on this interest and success.
  • Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    I went to New Mexico State University where I received my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering and my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.
  • What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    I have always had to refer back to various areas of engineering and physics to solve problems I have been faced with. I do not always remember every formula or material property, but I do know where to go find it. I also work in small teams where everybody has a lot of responsibility. I communicate often with the customer and strive to meet and exceed there needs.
  • What do you like best about being an engineer?
    I work of a variety of diverse products at my engineering job. While I do spend a lot of time on my computer, I also get to work with cameras, microscopes, sensors and other hardware components. I get learn about the state of the art 'techi' stuff.
  • What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    It is difficult to be a shy, introverted girl in a room of mostly males in engineering classes and other similar groups. I learned to solve problems all on my own. I learned to speak up and ask for help. I learned people are people and everyone has their own bias, so if you do an excellent job, it's hard for people to ignore you.
  • Please tell us a little about your family.
    I was married while pursing my PhD. My husband is also an engineer. I was nervous about how to juggle kids and a demanding career, but I now have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and wouldn't change a thing. I believe I am the biggest role model in their lives, and I want to show them they can do anything they want. My husband and I work well as a team taking care of our two girls.
  • What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    I am currently working on obtaining the next step in my technical career path at Honeywell. I will continue to work and grow in my areas of expertise. Long term, basically I will position myself to be happy in my career and life.
  • What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
    Definitely the teachers in my life. Math teachers taught me to love math, engineering professors taught me to take what I have learned and do something creative and productive with it.
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    I have been in situations that I have been discriminated against because I am a female, even at a young age. I have used these situations to become even more determined to get what I want.
  • Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    I love to run and participate in local fun runs and trail runs. I downhill ski and am on the National Ski Patrol. I volunteer in various community education programs. I also enjoy sewing and craft projects.
Biography
My experience as an engineer began when I was in Junior High School. I had a wonderful algebra teacher, Mrs. Duran, and this is really where my love for math and logic problems began. Was it hard? Yes. But I enjoyed the entire concept of 'word problems.' As college approached, and the couselors saw that I had done well and enjoyed computer programming, they encouraged me to sign up for Engineering. Engineering was a career that was in-demand and I also discovered that Electrical Engineering (EE) involved a lot of math. I attended New Mexico State University and received a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in EE. I made sure that I wasn't only involved in academics. In college I was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, on the club soccer team, and participated in every intramural activity that was offered! In hindsight, I believe college not only teaches you academics, but how to deal with a multitude of diverse tasks. After I got my degree in EE, it seemed that every job I interviewed for was interesting at a first glance, but it didn't seem like it would be something that I wanted to do forever. One day, I happened to speak to a professor about his research in computational electromagnetics. This was an area I had learned about during a summer job, and while I had never thought I would ever go to graduate school, I enrolled. I worked hard and received a Masters of Science in EE. But again, I had the same problem when it came to getting a job. The industry jobs sounded like they would become stale. Then, I started speaking with a professor in the Mechanical Engineering (ME) department about his research. Mechanical?! Wait, I thought, I'm an Electrical Engineer! But it sounded fun and better than any job, so I enrolled. I found that getting a Ph.D. did not mean specializing in one particular area, but was just the opposite. Ten years after entering college, I left with BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees. While this may seem like a long time, the important thing was that I was learning something useful and having lots of fun as I was doing it. I really think that all my education and hard work has led me to a position at Honeywell I truly enjoy. I have a lot of freedom in my job. If there is a particular type of work I believe we can be successful at, I am allowed to pursue that work. So to anybody interested in pursuing a degree in Engineering, I have a number of suggestions. First, take as many math and engineering classes as you can. Second, become involved in extracurricular activities - ranging from math groups to sports to arts and crafts, or whatever your interests are. Being an engineer requires working on teams, the more experience you have working on teams and in all types of groups, the more successful you will be. And finally, remember everything you do is a learning experience, whether you are learning calculus or observing human interactions, so pay attention. This is your chance at a fun life -- make the most of it!
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Education
BSEE - New Mexico State University MSEE - New Mexico State University PhD ME - New Mexico State University
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.
Latest Questions
  • chase

    Added Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 2:06 PM

    Answers 1
    Kim Linder, Honeywell FM&T
    Answered Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 5:06 PM
    I like engineering in general because it involves a lot of problem solving.  In the different disciplines you use different tools to solve problems and come up with solutions. I am drawn to the areas of Mechanical Engineering that use more math, as I ...
    Read More
  • Zafirah R, Aix-en-Provence; FR

    Added Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    Hello! My name is Zafirah and I am a first year student in a technology institute in France. Currently I've been going through a struggle in choosing what I want to focus on in the future, so I've narrowed my choices down based on my interests. I'm currently taking mechanical engineering and I was wondering are there any majors that I can focus on for my masters if I'm interested in working in the cosmetics industry? Since I'm not taking chemical engineering, is there any possibility for me to ...
    Answers 1
    Kim Linder, Honeywell FM&T
    Answered Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 4:54 AM
    Manufacturing Engineering could fit nicely. It is a subset of Mechanical Engineering.  In terms of cosmetics, they must all be packaged and manufactured - so there are jobs there.  Additionally, there are always new ways to apply cosmetics, new ...
    Read More
  • Kari, Norway

    Added Monday, February 9, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    Hi! I'm currently studying mechanical engineering, but I'm starting to doubt my choice of career. I'm considering to study medicine instead because I have hard time being passionate about machines and robots. However, since I'm only in my first year, the passion might come later on? I'm afraid that without the passion, it will become boring. I think I'm also more of a people-person, and I'm therefore thinking of medicine instead. How was it for you? Were you always sure and have you always had ...
    Answers 1
    Kim Linder, Honeywell FM&T
    Answered Monday, February 9, 2015 at 1:46 PM
    Hello.  Following your passion is definitely important! I have a number of thoughts around the different topics you brought up, so here goes.
    I'm a people person - Engineers almost always work in teams.  So to be successful, being a people person is ...
    Read More
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