Rapid City | Sioux Falls | Bismarck | Casper | Cedar Rapids

Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day

In honor of “Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day” (Thursday, Feb. 22), we picked the brain of our own awesome girl engineer – Sara Norstrom! Check out her Q&A below.

  1. When did you decide to become an engineer? 
    I decided to become an engineer during my sophomore year of at SDSU. I enrolled in math courses, but wasn’t sure what I would do with a math degree, so I changed majors and focused on electrical engineering.
  2. Why did you decide on electrical? 
    My Dad worked at Northern States Power Company (NSP), so growing up I was introduced to the power industry as a kid. I helped my Dad at the Sioux Falls Home Show by passing out Reddy Kilowatt books. Power always interested me, especially hydroelectric power…plus I like to take things apart! 
  3. What’s your favorite part about what you do?
    My favorite part about what I do are the clients I meet. They all have different challenges, and many of them I’ve worked with for years. You get to know their buildings and can help determine the best option for their space, whether it’s lighting or power needs.
  4. You’ve been a girl engineer for nearly 20 years…how have things changed during your career? 
    Technology has been the biggest change.  In 2000, drawings were done using Auto-CAD and were mailed from our clients to our office on a floppy disk. There wasn’t much use of email or cell phones. Now everything is instant.
  5. Not only is Sara an engineer, she’s also a wife and mom. She and her husband live in Harrisburg, SD and have one daughter.
    Our daughter Mallory will be 4 years old in March. She loves coloring, stickers, my little ponies, books and swimming!