Debra Kimberling

San Diego, CA, US
Field of Work 
Mechanical Engineering
-Non-profit board
San Diego County Engineering Council
Job Title or "Student" 
University of Washington, Arizona State University, Mesa Community College
Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Science
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
When I was in high school, I didn’t know what an engineer was or what they did. Because I enjoyed math, I started to take accounting in a local community college. It was there that my math professor, for whom I graded papers, suggested I look into engineering. I liked the thought of entering a career that would allow me to be creative and to solve practical real-world problems. I also appreciated the relative higher starting pay. I've since worked with many amazing people throughout an extremely fulfilling career as an engineer.

I was a mechanical engineer who just happened to develop submersibles at one company, put rockets into orbit at another, and design engines. I've even taught engineering as a professor at Purdue University! I’ve contributed to improving the defense of our nation, to supporting geosynchronous satellite communication systems, and providing critical emergency backup power for life saving institutions like hospitals. I was even able to conduct some of my own research as a Navy civilian scuba diver.

Today as a retiree, I enjoy visiting school clubs to talk about engineering and the power of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). It is a great way to address the unconscious gender stereotypes about who can be successful in engineering and address the research behind why there are so few women in engineering.
Working outdoors, Poetry, Reading, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, In-school visit, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Evenings, Weekdays, Weekends, No Preference
Identifying other role models, Online Mentoring (email or Skype), Other
Program Affiliation 
AAUW, Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Other Interests 
Improv, Women's History, Guitar, Hiking,
Other Resources

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