SEH Water Resources Engineer Lindsey Roberts McKenzie was presented with two Young Engineer of the Year awards—one from the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science and Technology Societies (MFESTS) and the other from Society of American Military Engineers, Minneapolis-St. Paul Post (SAME-MSP).
The award promotes the accomplishments of young engineers by highlighting their engineering contributions and the resulting impact on society. Here’s what Lindsey has to say about her achievement.
1. What does winning the award mean to you?
I am extremely honored to have received the nomination and associated award from SAME-MSP and to be recognized by MFESTS, organizations with members that have such breadth in experience and backgrounds. Winning the Young Engineer of the Year award was such a surprise and truly an honor.
I do not consider myself "young" anymore, but receiving this award has reminded me that even though I have been in the industry for well over a decade, I have much to learn and do not take that for granted.
2. What professional organizations are you active with?
I am involved in both professional and personal organizations.
I’ve worn many hats within Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I am currently the Chair-elect on the Society Finance Committee and Chair in Fiscal Year 2019. I previously served as Chair on the Audit Committee and the SWE-Minnesota Advisory Council.
I am currently the Treasurer for SAME-MSP and for the past two years I’ve enjoyed working on the executive board.
I am Chair on the Women Who Inspire Committee at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota. This has allowed me to take lessons learned from my professional community to help build a support network for women of all backgrounds within my spiritual community.
3. Why is it important to you to volunteer in professional organizations?
My volunteer time is spent primarily with organizations that provide professional support to those in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, mainly women.
Each organization allows me to give back to my community and my profession through networking and outreach. It also allows me to hone professional management skills early on in my career.
4. What advice would you give to yourself when you first started in the industry?
Embrace the vulnerability that comes with being young and inexperienced. It’s an opportunity, not a hindrance. You’re not expected to know everything, but you are expected to ask questions, actively listen and absorb as much as you can. Having this mindset will allow those around you to mentor you and teach you that humility is a sign of professional strength, not weakness.
Lindsey is a water resources engineer and project manager committed to projects that relate to flood control and floodplain management. She has also worked on projects to help mitigate invasive species in Minnesota lakes, and projects that help restore and protect natural resources, including wetlands and bogs.