News | Aug 25, 2022 | Christine Furey
Employee Spotlight: Katelyn Theiss, PE, ACE, Airfield Electrical Engineer
1. How did you come to do what you do?
I was a lazy kid who was always inventing better ways to do chores or repetitive tasks. My father and I would always say, “Work smarter, not harder.” This led me to studying engineering in hopes of cashing in on one of these inventions. I started studying general engineering in college, which led to Biomedical Engineering with the goal of working in the medical device field. I selected a focus in Bioinstrumentation, which led to several electrical engineering classes. I really took an interest in the power engineering courses and decided to change to a dual major of Biomedical Engineering/Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, I decided to pursue electrical engineering and began my career in the consulting industry. About a year into my career, I was exposed to Airfield Lighting and found a mentor who truly took me under his wing and helped me build the career I have today.
2. Was this a lifelong goal?
Yes, I always had the lifelong goal of a being successful and being able to provide for my family, while having a career that positively impacts the world around us.
3. What motivates you every day?
My daughters motive me every day. I want to show them that you can do anything you set your mind to, and that women can balance successful careers and motherhood.
4. What makes you unique and different?
The way I problem solve, by taking a step back, taking in all the information, and strategizing from a different angle is what makes me unique and different.
5. What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
I enjoy working on airfield lighting and NAVAIDs projects. I enjoy siting taxiway edge lights with complex geometry; it can be an art form.
6. What are your future career goals?
I would like to focus the next five to ten years on growing my technical skill set. Then I would like to pursue project management or other leadership opportunities.
7. What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?
The best career lesson I have learned so far is to just do it. I learned this lesson while working as a line cook at Outback Steakhouse in college. I had no idea how to cook and was thrown into the fire (not literally). I quickly learned just get your hands dirty, keep moving, and get it done. Like my supervisor David Williams always says, “Keep the ball moving forward.” Also, do not be afraid to ask for help if you are stuck.
8. Tell us what your day-to-day looks like at Arora.
I am fortunate to work from home. A typical day starts with a team meeting to discuss if anyone is available to help, or if anyone needs help, and to discuss “lessons learned” or technical questions. Then I spend my day designing and coordinating on projects.
9. What do you enjoy most about working at Arora?
I enjoy working in a team environment where we support each other and can learn from each other.
10. What has been your favorite memory while working at Arora?
Recently, the Airfield Electrical team attended the AAAE NEC conference in Philadelphia. We had a wonderful time at the Franklin Institute reception checking out all the exhibits and enjoying some great food.
11. Outside of work, what do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy having family time, taking my dogs for a hike, and riding my new e-bike.