Laureen A. Ervin

"Study hard; this is a challenging career, which is why it pays well and is in demand."

INTERVIEW DATE October 8, 2007
HER JOB The Boeing Company
Engineering Careers
Software |

Science has always fascinated me, astronomy, chemistry, biology…  Although math by itself is not my favorite, when combined with engineering problems, it’s like solving a puzzle, difficult, but a rush when successful. Being paid well and having job opportunities also influenced my choice.  I also wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t want to starve.  These days, my artistic side is expressed in hobbies.

Laureen Ervin, The Boeing Company

ADDEDMonday, October 8, 2007

  • Q
    Describe what you do in your current work situation?
    A
    I write software, implementing new concepts in flight deck displays for airplane flight simulators, so that new ideas can be demonstrated to customers and tested with pilots.
  • Q
    Why did you choose engineering?
    A
    Science has always fascinated me, astronomy, chemistry, biology…  Although math by itself is not my favorite, when combined with engineering problems, it’s like solving a puzzle, difficult, but a rush when successful. Being paid well and having job opportunities also influenced my choice.  I also wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t want to starve.  These days, my artistic side is expressed in hobbies.
  • Q
    Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    A
    My undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering from the University of Washington (BSEE). Many years later, I completed earning a masters degree in computer science (MSCS) with a long-distance learning program through Walden University.
  • Q
    What do you like best about being an engineer?
    A
    Conjuring up an engineering solution using math reminds me of Hermione from Harry Potter using mysterious incantations to whip up a great spell!
  • Q
    Please tell us a little about your family.
    A
    I have a wonderful husband, two grown sons and daughter-in-laws, one grandson, and two cats.
  • Q
    What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    A
    Short-term, I want to incorporate more of my skills into my computer graphics work, adding algorithms based on math, artificial intelligence, systems design… Long-term is more difficult to predict.  I could continue along the same path, or consider down-sizing or “retirement”.  I wouldn’t mind combining my engineering skills more with my artistic side; being involved with computer graphics for flight simulators is a good start.  When I do get to “retirement”, I might do more painting, or fabric and clothing design, that is, indulge and further develop my artistic side.
  • Q
    What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
    A
    Study hard; this is a challenging career, which is why it pays well and is in demand.  This allows you to achieve other goals (dream home, nice clothes) and be self-sufficient.  Taking on a challenge and succeeding is very satisfying. Don’t sell out; be your own self.  It’s time for women to redefine being an engineer; it’s not just for nerds! 
  • Q
    Quote
    A
    "Don’t sell out; be your own self.  It’s time for women to redefine being an engineer; it’s not just for nerds!"
  • Q
    Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    A
    Study hard; this is a challenging career, which is why it pays well and is in demand.
  • Q
    Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    A
    My hobby is being in a local music band.  Another woman and I sing the leads and harmonies to most of the songs, and the guys play guitar, bass and drums and do some singing too.  This is a very fun hobby, even though we are not even close to being famous. I also paint and draw when on vacation.