Haley Miller is an electrical designer specializing in high performance buildings. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomechanical engineering from Queen’s University and joined Tetra Tech in June 2017. We spoke with Haley as part of our #WomenInSTEM campaign to not only celebrate our brilliant women engineers but also to raise their profiles to encourage those who aspire to become engineers and to work in STEM. Follow #WomenInStem on social media for more stories.

What do you like about working at Tetra Tech?

At Tetra Tech we are technical specialists who are passionate about what we do and being great at it.

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

I became an engineer because of the work I could do to help shape the world that we live in. Our engineering skills allow the world to have buildings, clean drinking water, sanitation, power, transport infrastructure, and more! The world would be a very different place without our skills.

The world would be a very different place without our skills.

Haley Miller
How can we encourage female students to pursue a career in engineering?

I am a firm believer in helping people see how rewarding an engineering career is and how impactful our collective efforts are. There are very few careers where you can say that what you’ve worked on will be used by millions of people for generations to come. We can say that when one of our major projects, like a new road, has been completed—and that is a rewarding feeling.

What are the greatest qualities you may find in an engineer?

Engineers tend to be very logical thinkers. No problem is insurmountable—we just need to break it down into smaller parts so we can solve it. These problem-solving skills make engineers extremely valuable people to have around, whatever the problem to be solved might be!

How do you define your success as an engineer?

Throughout my career I’ve been lucky to take on a wide range of roles. I started off as a graduate engineer working both in the design office and on-site. I then progressed through detailed design to site design, project, program, and line management roles. However, success to me is not about the roles that you held—it’s about the quality of projects that you worked on, the people you worked with, and if the project delivered—or exceeded—the expected outcomes.

What do you look forward to in the years to come in the engineering field?

I am excited about the changes that technology is bringing to our field. How we do things today will be different in one year, and radically different in five years. It is important for engineers to embrace these new technologies and use them to our advantage, rather than be intimidated by them.

What projects are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the Auckland Electrification project where we electrified the Auckland train network. It was a long and challenging project with many tough moments. However, it was all worthwhile. Every time I see a clean, green, electric train whiz past I think, “We did that!” The project required a huge team effort, and I was lucky to work with a fabulous team who all came together to deliver a great outcome for the people of Auckland, New Zealand.

Do you have any advice to pass along to mentors?

Women often think and act differently than men, and that’s a good thing. We need to embrace diversity of thought and actions on our project teams. If everyone is the same, then we won’t get the best possible outcomes on our projects. That’s important, as the role we play in shaping the world means that we need to deliver the best possible outcomes.