Whitney Stramer likes to create, and her creations know no bounds. In her role as a Graduate Engineer at ISG, she creates both designs and positive relationships with co-employee owners and clients. Whitney builds these relationships outside the office with her volunteering, whether working for non-profits or mentoring high school students. As if that wasn’t enough, the self-admitted “avid plant lady” is also a huge fan of DIYs and crafting. Read on to learn more about Whitney!
When did you know you wanted to be an engineer?
I have to credit my engineering spark to my freshman year high school teacher, Mr. Anderson. One day after turning in an assignment, I told him I really enjoyed physics, and he subsequently encouraged me to look into engineering and join the science club. Within a month, I knew I was going to be an engineer. Now, I hope to spark that same passion in students by mentoring at my alma mater, Totino-Grace High School, with its E3 program.
Apart from E3 mentoring, what other non-profits are you involved with?
JUHRI – a non-profit that strives to builds hospitals and provides 100 percent free health care in Nigeria. Bright Times – a small non-profit that was started in college by some of my classmates. We work to provide opportunities to students and help boost their resumes/portfolio. Miss Hastings Scholarship Competition – an organization working to provide college scholarships for young women and providing a platform for them to better serve their communities.
Where’d you go to college?
I am an excessively proud graduate of North Dakota State University (NDSU). The remarkable professors there pushed my curiosity, and I worked on gaining differing perspectives by having part-time jobs throughout college, working for the student newspaper and the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. When school wasn’t in session, I strived to have varying internships each year and better understand the different facets of engineering (municipal, traffic, and aviation engineering). These early multi-disciplinary experiences help me serve clients today at ISG, where I love to learn and work with all of our in-house disciplines!
What/who inspires you? Why?
There are a multitude of people that inspire myself. I was pretty fortunate to grow up with not only support from my parents, who believe the world in me, but also countless friends and their families. They inspire me to improve their daily lives; whether it be in their daily commute, creating better accessibility to their vehicles, improving their city, or teaching them the difference between concrete and asphalt. My goal, since high school, has been to help serve as many people as possible with my career, and as a Civil Engineer, I can directly impact hundreds of lives by creating functional, efficient, and effective designs that better serve peoples’ day-to-day routines!
How do you work to deliver solutions?
Understanding your client and their needs will help deliver elevated solutions. I enjoy meeting with clients one-on-one to better gain a clearer perspective of what they value and the product they want delivered.
You’ve traveled to more countries than US states—how did this happen?
My parents are avid travelers, for work and vacation. They had seen most of the United States by the time I was born and wanted to see more of the world, so I was brought along for the ride. Ironically, two of my favorite trips were not with my parents (sorry, Mom and Dad) but in high school, when I traveled to Spain with my fellow classmates and to Costa Rica with my choir. Some of my best memories are trying to dodge crabs at night on the beach with my best friend and roaming around Seville and admiring the city.
How has your travel cause you to grow?
Whether taking a ferry to Morocco, zip lining to a jungle, hanging out with camels, riding horses through a mountain, seeing an active volcano, or petting a lion—my experiences abroad got me out of my comfort zone and changed the way I saw the world. I believe that by getting outside of our respective comfort zones at ISG and leaning on the expertise of employee owners of all different disciplines, we can enhance the services we offer clients. But don’t take it from me—ISG Executive Vice President Lynn Bruns presented on it at to the whole firm at our ISynerGy conference earlier this week!
I’ve heard of flights at breweries in the Twin Cities—but you actually take flights around the metro area?
My boyfriend Tory is a flight instructor with Inflight Pilot Training out of Flying Cloud Airport while pursuing his passion of becoming a commercial airline pilot. In our spare time we enjoy taking scenic flights around the metro area. You would be surprised how many airports have nice restaurants. It is a bit ironic that I am still riding as co-pilot—both my dad and grandfather were certified to fly too!
What is it about the A/E field that you think has the largest impact on our future as a firm, the industry, or the world at large?
Technology. There is a large social shift in the way people design and what limitations were previously presented. It seems that the A/E field is continuing to adapt and serve our community by utilizing these technologies, i.e. drone, AR/VR design, green design, and even to the ways we communicate (like Slack). At ISG we’re constantly looking for ways to implement the latest and greatest in technology to better serve our clients.