Our People – Samantha Kelley | Full-Time Dog Lover, Part-Time Engineering Wonderkid

Samantha Kelley is a Mechanical Engineer at iFactor. To celebrate Engineers Week 2018, specifically Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, we sat down with Sam to learn more about iFactor’s engineering wonderkid!

Q: When was the first moment you realized that you wanted to be an engineer?

A: My dad was the first person to tell me about the engineering profession. I was in middle school and really enjoying Algebra. I asked my dad if there was I way I could sit in a room by myself and do math without anyone bothering me (I had a lot of angst as a preteen). Years later, I went to an engineering summer camp at Purdue University and that finalized my decision.

Q: Being a female engineer, do you approach solving problems any differently than your male counterparts?

A: One of my favorite things about being an engineer, especially in the HVAC industry, is that everyone approaches problems so differently. Every engineer is going to work on unique projects in their careers, and past problems will affect how every individual comes up with a new solution. What makes engineering really great though is that a variety of designs can be implemented for each project. It is up to an engineer to prove mathematically (and according to code) which solution is the best.

Q: If you could give advice to a young professional entering the engineering field, what would it be?

A: Ask questions, be curious, and have an idea before you reject someone else’s.

Q: What is the greatest work of engineering genius?

A: The computer because it makes mostly all modern feats of engineering possible.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: Don’t regret your past actions because at the time, it was exactly what you wanted.

Q: What is the most unique project you’ve ever worked on and why?

A: I probably learned the most by redesigning the humidification system for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown L.A. Museums have a very specific range of humidity allowed so as not to dry out oil paintings or oxidize bronze statues.

Q: Do you have any big/exciting plans in store for 2018?

A: I’ve already gone to Colombia in 2018, I have plans to go to Glacier National Park, and hopes to schedule a trip to Peru, but that may have to be a future year!

Q: What might we find you doing on a typical Sunday afternoon?

A: Snuggling my dog(s), TV/music on in the background, puzzling.

Q: If you had one superpower, what would it be and why?

A: Super speed because you get all the benefits of teleportation with the advantage of a super speedy metabolism.

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: People walking backwards in crowded places.

Q: Most people don’t know this, but my hobbies include:

A: Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, backpacking, scuba diving, pottery, volunteering at animal shelters, and puzzles.

Sam and her rescue pup Shanikwa backpacking in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Q: You have rescued/fostered dozens of adorable dogs. Why is dog rescue so close to your heart?

A: Rescue dogs love you more, and the reason they have been abandoned in shelters by the people they love and trusted is never their fault. Working with these animals is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.

Q: How many stamps do you have in your passport and what stamps do you hope to add in the next 5 years?

A: 9. Germany, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Spain…..I might need more than 5 years.

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