What inspired you to become an engineer?
I’ve always been drawn to math and science. At about age nine, I started professing my desire to be an engineer when I grew up. Upon being granted the freedom of four wheels, I developed an affinity for car audio systems, which led me to an electrical engineering degree.
After graduation, I intended to take the traditional EE path searching for a job in the tech industry, but instead stumbled upon a job at a local consulting firm. As it turns out, this was a blessing in disguise — looking back and knowing where I am now, with a lot of flexibility in my work, I can’t imagine spending my days in a cubicle writing computer code.
Affectionately named “Tyler’s Geeky Thing” by the Dell Panama Facilities Manager, Tyler’s solution to brightening the end of a dark hallway was a graphic translation spelling out D-E-L-L in Binary with LED light fixtures.
What is your specific area of expertise and why did you choose it?
Lighting and renewable energy. I’m one of those engineers who likes to use both the left and the right brain.
Tell us something about the field of engineering that is surprising or not common knowledge.
Communication, both written and verbal, is much more critical to an engineering career than one might think. This is something your professors tell you in college, but nobody REALLY believes. Turns out, it’s true.
Tyler’s communications and people skills bring some fun to the workplace.
What is one of your favorite projects and why?
Along with electrical engineering, I studied Spanish in college. I learned a second language because I like to travel, but never really thought I’d use it in my career. As a result, I’ve had assignments for Dell computers that require us to produce drawings in Spanish, and this has allowed me to travel to Panama and Mexico City quite a number of times over the last few years.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
In addition to a love for all of the outdoor activities Idaho has to offer, I’m passionate about travel. Aside from work trips, my most recent journey abroad was to Peru last summer with Engineers Without Borders. We installed solar panels and a well pump to provide clean water to a community living in a remote jungle location.
My wife and I also recently founded a social enterprise, Wempo Energy, which aims to build a more balanced, inclusive, and efficient energy sector by promoting women entrepreneurs as key players in the energy value chain.
What piece of advice would you give a young person interested in becoming an engineer?
Be multi-faceted — don’t think that just because you choose one career path it can’t morph into others. There’s a bit of a stigma about engineers, that we aren’t artistic or creative, but that’s definitely not true. Understanding aesthetics and thinking outside the box are all things that make a great, well-rounded engineer.
Tyler enjoying a bluebird day snowshoeing in Boise, Idaho.
Tyler at a glance
Living in Boise, Idaho
Defining characteristics: well rounded; appreciates technical, black and white solutions to problems that need solving, but at the same time, likes to be creative and interact with people
Interests: world revolves around a six and a two-year-old, outdoor activities (Idaho born and raised), addressing energy poverty, advocating for civil rights and social justice, visiting local breweries, and crocheting
Tyler has a goal to crochet 52 hats in 2019!