Robyn Hartz earned her graduate degree in Transportation Engineering from Georgia Tech and her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Robyn also serves as President of her local Women’s Transportation Seminar, which includes a mentoring program for young girls. Below she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Civil Engineering. Specifically, I’m a Transportation Engineer and am currently focused on noise and air quality.
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
When all those cars, trucks and buses go whizzing down the road, I figure out what kind of impact all that noise has on the local community. We can then determine if a noise barrier is needed (like the walls you sometimes see along the interstate that separate the road from the houses nearby). I also figure out how the traffic and transportation projects will affect the air you breath.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
An interest in the environment.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
I didn't know my specific field existed until I started in it. Its a unique niche field and people get there from all sorts of paths.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
While studying in Atlanta, many of my professors were very involved with air quality research. It really sparked my interest in the area. I started on my path initially because I had dreams of becoming a fighter pilot and thought I would design airports after my flying career was over.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something! You need to try, and believe in yourself.
Thank you for contributing, Robyn!
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