Katie Smith
Katie Smith
System Analysis Engineer, Appalachian Power Company
Charleston, WV

More Engineers!

Stephanie Cheung
Camille Sowells
Sunita Satyapal
Jennifer Nakayama
LaToya Eggleston
Rae Anne Rushing
Gillian Montgomery
Mikell Taylor
Kelly Hon
Chris Wolfe
Rebecca Goldberg
Philippa Martin
Close Up
  • Describe what you do in your current work situation.

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

  • Why did you choose engineering?

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

  • Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?

    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. 

  • What kinds of activities have typically been part of your 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.

  • What do you like best about being an engineer?

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

  • Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?

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

  • What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?

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

  • Please tell us a little about your 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. 

  • What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?

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

  • What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?

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

  • What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?

    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. 

  • Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.

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

  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?

    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.
Read More Read Less
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.
Latest Questions
View More