National Engineers Week Highlights the #Engineer4Tomorrow

February 26, 2021

​Forward-thinking engineers help us achieve our mission of making our customers’ lives brighter, the environment better and our communities stronger. Whether they work in one of our corporate offices or out in the field, engineers across a wide range of disciplines – from electrical to civil to mechanical – are at the heart of each project and initiative that helps ensure the electric system runs smoothly and customers have the power they rely on every day. As part of National Engineers Week, which shines a light on how engineers are imagining tomorrow through its #Engineer4Tomorrow campaign, we are proud to highlight three FirstEnergy engineers who are helping to make the grid of the future possible.

Amanda Turner, Supervisor, Engineering Services (Civil Engineer)

Amanda Turner

What is your role at FirstEnergy?

As supervisor of Engineering Services for Ohio Edison and Penn Power, I oversee a team responsible for the engineering design of the distribution system in the greater Akron area.

How do you see engineers playing an important role in the future of energy?

Engineers and designers will play a key role in propelling FirstEnergy into the future, especially a focus on infrastructure improvement programs like the Grid Modernization Plan in Ohio and the Long-Term Infrastructure Investment Plan (LTIIP) in Pennsylvania.

All engineering teams at FirstEnergy’s operating companies play different but significant roles to make grid modernization come to life. The group that I currently oversee plays a key part in designing system improvements in a timely manner. This ensures that we can hit our deadlines and, ultimately, improve reliability for customers and position FirstEnergy for future technology.

What advice do you have for high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

Engineering is great career path for analytical individuals that enjoy problem solving. For younger students, you don’t have to figure out exactly what you want to do yet – engineering is a broad field that can be found in just about every industry. Consider pursuing co-ops, internships and shadowing opportunities to see if there is a discipline or industry that interests you.

Sally Thomas, Director, Transmission Planning & Protection (Electrical Engineer)

Sally Thomas

What is your role at FirstEnergy?

As director of Transmission Planning & Protection, I oversee three groups responsible for planning, protecting and modeling the transmission system. We play a large role identifying projects that improve the reliability and resiliency of our transmission system as part of FirstEnergy’s Energizing the Future initiative.

How do you see engineers playing an important role in the future of energy?

The energy industry is changing before our eyes. Many companies are making more environmentally conscious decisions, such as aiming for carbon neutrality and, ultimately, reducing fossil fuels in favor of clean energy. Within FirstEnergy, engineers play a critical role in achieving these goals by ensuring the grid remains reliable and resilient through this transition. Our transmission facilities enable the flow of renewable generation to effectively supply customers with power. We continue to push ourselves to stay on the cutting edge of innovative technologies to support and protect the grid.

What advice do you have for high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

Engineering is a challenging yet exciting career. Engineers are in demand across nearly every industry. If you work hard to earn your degree and professional license, you can go almost anywhere, giving you opportunities to perfect your craft. The utility business is an innovative place to be where you can develop very valuable skills and contribute new ideas.

Rachel Lindesmith, Manager, Distribution Portfolio Management (Civil Engineer)

Rachel Lindesmith

What is your role at FirstEnergy?

As manager of Distribution Portfolio Management, I oversee a team that works closely with all of FirstEnergy Utilities to lead the process of determining major power system improvement projects and programs for the next year. We ultimately establish a plan that best addresses customer needs, regulatory commitments and reliability concerns.

How do you see engineers playing a role in the future of energy?

As we look at creating the grid of the future, which includes new, unique projects and smarter technologies, we are going to need people who can think logically, solve problems and have the technical skills needed to accomplish these goals.

What advice do you have for high school and college students interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

I was the first person from my family to attend college and I didn’t really understand what an engineer did at first. I am very thankful I decided to pursue this field because it set me up for success. If you are someone who enjoys solving problems and thinking creatively, then engineering may be a field to learn more about. Engineers are needed everywhere – whether it is an engineering role or not. The skillset that you develop as an engineer is transferable across many functions.

Do You Know Someone Interested in Engineering?

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, National Engineers Week is held each February to promote careers in engineering and technology in an effort to develop a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce. Undergraduate students interested in engineering are encouraged to pursue internships or co-op opportunities to receive hands-on experience, develop their professional skills and gain a better sense of the career paths that align with their personal strengths and interests. Follow along on social media with hashtags #EWeek2021 and #Engineer4Tomorrow for more National Engineers Week coverage.

If you know Interested students, tell them to visit for information on current intern/co-op and employment opportunities, as well as a list of college career fairs and events that our Recruiting team will be participating in.