Parkhill Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day

Category: Engineering

Written By: Parkhill Team

Date: June 23, 2024

Parkhill Celebrates International Women in Engineering Day cover image

Whether it’s the roads we travel on, the schools we attend, the parks we visit, or the utilities we need to make our lives easier, women in engineering continue to make significant contributions to the modern world we live in. While women have been making strides in the field of engineering, more work needs to be done to increase representation in STEM occupations that help create a more sustainable and healthier society. Diverse problems call for diverse minds to find suitable solutions that benefit us all.  

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we are highlighting our very own female engineers who work hard every day to help make our world a better place and inspire young girls to take a greater interest in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Casey Hadsall, Civil Engineer – Site Development & Planning  

Casey is a Professional Engineer based in Arlington, Texas. She has six years of experience, four of which have been with Parkhill. She has worked on various municipal jobs, including parks and trails, athletic complexes, school projects, and roadway projects.

What do you enjoy most about your role in engineering?   

My favorite part about being a Civil Engineer is putting my problem-solving skills to use in both a personal and technical way. The work I do is engaging, challenging, and most importantly, meaningful. I help our clients find unique solutions to their problems and use my design skills to make these solutions a reality. 

Why is it important for more young girls to become interested in engineering?  

Having diverse viewpoints in design matters. The spaces we design will be used by women, and many of the clients we work with are women. Engineering challenges require many different types of people and skills to be tackled effectively and women are part of that. Additionally, there is a high demand for engineers as cities grow and the existing infrastructure ages. We need smarter, more thoughtful people to be interested in engineering to help build our future cities and communities. 

Have you participated in any events with the theme of inspiring STEM interest in young girls? If so, what and what was your experience like? 

I recently volunteered at the Chicago Architecture Center’s Engineering Fest. The festival invited children ages 8 – 14 to design, build, learn about engineering, and visit with different types of engineers. I manned the “bridge testing” station and remembered one girl who wouldn’t give up when her bridge failed. Each time, she’d go to work a little more, then return with a repaired, stronger bridge design. I loved seeing and talking to all of the girls who were interested in engineering, and I’m excited about a future with more women engineers. 

René Hawklee, PE, CFM - Site Development & Planning 

René Hawklee, PE, CFM, is a Principal and the Stormwater Team Leader based in Midland, Texas. She has 37 years of experience, 12 of which have been with Parkhill. Her areas of expertise include drainage systems, roadway design, water and wastewater infrastructure, and site civil design.

What inspired you to choose engineering as a career path?   

Before sustainability was a word, I wanted to protect our natural resources and environment for future generations. I reasoned that the people designing our physical infrastructure could make choices for long-term solutions behind the scenes. By choosing Civil Engineering for my career, I could be more effective than someone trying to set policy from the outside.  

Who were your role models that inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?   

I grew up on a ranch and farm operation and had never met an engineer. However, my parents were great role models for reading, learning, and the importance of education. 

What advice would you give a young girl considering engineering as a profession?  

Many women have strengths in caring for others and often choose occupations that focus on that (nursing, education, etc.). Engineering may not immediately be noticed as a career in serving others, but engineers make our lives better in numerous ways – safer, more convenient, and less expensive. 

Thalia Balderas, Mechanical Engineer-in-Training – MEP/S 

Thalia Balderas is a Mechanical Engineer-in-Training based in Lubbock, Texas. She has been with Parkhill for one year and is just starting her journey in engineering. 

What inspired you to choose engineering as a career path?  

There were several factors that inspired me to pursue a career in engineering, but overall, I have always enjoyed a challenge and a natural curiosity about how things work. The work ethic involved in unraveling a complex system and my dedication to comprehending problems or mechanisms are what push me to unlock my full potential daily.   

What do you enjoy most about your role in engineering?   

Knowing that our work has a positive impact on the community and ultimately helps others brings me great joy. In my position, I have the privilege of contributing to the creation of structures and spaces that not only fulfill functional needs but also enhance the lives of individuals and communities.  

Why is it important for more young girls to become interested in engineering?  

By creating interest in engineering among young girls, we tap into an abundant resource of untapped potential. Girls possess unique perspectives, skills, and creativity that can bring fresh insights. Engineering offers a platform for girls to excel and be leaders while making a positive impact.