Meet Chic City Girl & Mechanical Design Engineer, Lindsey Roth

Meet Lindsey Roth, a 24-year-old University of Portland Alum, making bank as a mechanical design engineer while also living up the Portland city life!


1. So what do you do as a mechanical design engineer?

I work for the army corps of engineers, in the Portland District, Design Branch. Basically, we maintain all of the dams in the Pacific North West.   Anything machine related is our responsibility in the mechanical design section. This includes fish ladders, gates, trashracks (to prevent logs from jamming the turbine), HVAC… literally, anything that’s mechanically related on a dam.


2. What do you love about your job?

I would say that it's the fact that what I do makes an impact. Being a public servant, it’s our job to make sure that our dams are safe and that they’re functioning to the best of their ability. I’m honored to be given as much responsibility as a junior engineer! I think it’s really cool to see the end results of your projects too. Most projects that come to us are at least a couple million bucks or more and take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to complete.  Right now one of the design projects I’m on is so large, it’s not expected to be completed until 2027.


3. Are there more men than women in your workplace, and why do you think that is?

When I first started, I was the first female engineer in the section in the past 5 years. Since then we’ve had one more girl join us, but as of now, there are 22 engineers in the section (2 of them are women). I think the biggest reason is because there isn’t really an outreach in middle school and high school. I think a lot more women would join engineering if they understood what it was at a young age, and how rewarding it can be to have it as a career.


4. What did you like most about UP when you attended?

I liked being around an academic environment where people came from different backgrounds, yet we all valued education. I really loved being involved on campus and developing close friendships that last for life.


5. What has changed about UP since you graduated in 2016?

They took down Howard Hall… Thank God. There was a lot of change from the time I was a freshman to senior year. They remodeled the library, built Beauchamp, rebuilt the Pilots house, and built a whole new dorm. I thought it was really cool to see all the changes and how it affected the social environment here at UP.


6. What are some ways that you feel UP has helped you grow as an individual?

I think being out of the house and being on your own, you go through a lot of changes. At home, you’re kinda like a replica of your parents, yet when you are on your own, that’s the first time you really start making decisions for yourself and your values truly become your own.


7. How's the workforce different from the college experience?

I would say it’s a lot easier as a mechanical engineer because you do a 40 hour work week, and once you leave the office you’re done for the day. As a student, however, I remember there was always something to complete or study. However, as a mechanical engineer in the workforce, you can’t afford to not do your best, especially when safety plays a huge role in design. We have a lot of responsibility.


8. What's your advice to us college girls?

Enjoy it, but don’t forget the end game. Choose hobbies and courses that develop yourself and prepare you for the next phase. Don’t forget this is the only time your profession is to learn!