SOURCE: Society of Women Engineers

Society of Women Engineers

July 17, 2015 11:42 ET

The Society of Women Engineers Welcomes Colleen Layman as President

HDR Vice President & Power-Water Management Director Brings a Passion for Mentorship to Society

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - July 17, 2015) - The Society of Women Engineers installed Colleen Layman, Vice President & Power-Water Management Director of HDR, as president, effective July 1, 2015 through June, 2016. The world's largest advocate for women in engineering and technology welcomed Layman at an installation ceremony Thursday, July 16 in Omaha, Nebraska, HDR's headquarters location. Layman brings a 20-year career in engineering as well as a passion for mentorship with her as she accepts the honorable position.

"I joined SWE because of the network of support and mentorship opportunities, and as president, I intend to give back to the Society in that way and much more," Layman said. "Additionally, I look forward to upholding and even strengthening SWE's message to the community on the perception of careers in engineering. I want young girls to understand how rewarding a career in engineering can be, just as mine is."

Layman's involvement with SWE spans more than 15 years. She's held several leadership positions at the Society, regional and local levels. She also represented SWE as a member of the steering committee for the development of the U.S. technological literacy framework and specifications commissioned by the Department of Education National Assessment Governing Board in 2008 and 2009.

Mentorship has played an important role in Layman's career. She credits her own mentor, a high school math teacher and nun, as being instrumental in her choosing engineering. Layman said, "I don't know what I would have done without her. That's why mentorship is so important to me."

Layman is actively involved in mentoring college students, especially women, saying she gets as much out of mentoring as the students. "They refuel my passion and inspire me," she says.

Layman developed an interest in power engineering when she interned at a power plant and "it clicked." Her interest in power hasn't waned over the years. "I love the power industry," she says, "especially on days when I can put on boots and a hard hat and go out into the field to see what I created in my head." The internship marked the start of a 20-year career for Layman who has expertise in engineering design, construction, commissioning and operation of power generating facilities.

Layman holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology from Thomas Edison State College, a master's in water resources and environmental engineering from Villanova University, an MBA in management of engineering and technology from North Central University, and is a registered professional engineer.

"We install Colleen as president with a great deal of excitement," said Karen Horting, CEO and executive director of SWE, who joined Layman at Thursday's installment ceremony. "We are confident that Colleen's long history with SWE coupled with her established career in engineering will make her a great role model and voice for women in engineering. I look forward to her representing us to our membership, our partners and other stakeholders in our community."

For 65 years, The Society of Women Engineers has had a mission to inspire women to achieve their full potential as engineers and leaders. Women make up 47 percent of the overall workforce, but are much less represented in particular science and engineering occupations1. SWE aims to be the catalyst for change, offering members support, mentorship, and professional and personal development opportunities.

About SWE
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit or call 312.596.5223.

About HDR
HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible since 1917. We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local.

1 U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, Monthly Microdata, December 2014.

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