June 23, 2021 marks International Women in Engineering Day. This day brings attention to amazing career opportunities available for women in the industry and celebrates the achievements of women engineers throughout the world.
Baisch Engineering is fortunate to have women engineers on staff and in leadership roles.
Why did these women choose engineering as their career choice? What would they say to encourage other women to become engineers?
A common theme when asked why they became engineers is because they love math, science, drawing and building things. As Jeannine Powell said, “I always loved building things – blocks, Lincoln logs, sandcastles, Legos – there are lots of memories and pictures of me as a little kid building.”
Judy Overton combined a love of math and art, which led her to attend Fox Valley Technical College where she became the first woman to graduate from the program with an Associate Degree in Mechanical Design. Kaylin Van Stappen originally planned on becoming an Architect and was offered a position as a Structural Designer. That led to a love of modeling and data. Kaylin says, “When I get the opportunity to work on 3D concept models and presentation renderings, it doesn’t even feel like work!”
How did these women decide what discipline of engineering to focus on? Some didn’t have to choose just one. Peggy Heling has mostly been an Electrical Drafter but loves drafting in general and has done Process Control, Structural and GIS Drafting. Jeannine was asked by a friend whether she liked Mechanics of Materials or Thermo more; the answer was easy and she focused on Civil Engineering.
These women have sound advice for other women looking to join the engineering world. All agreed that being an engineer is interesting, challenging and offers the opportunity to be in a field where design is constantly evolving. Peggy encourages women to follow their passion, while Judy is proud to say engineering is not just a man’s world any longer. Some of the best advice came from Jeannine and applies not only to engineering, but to life in general. She says, “Don’t be intimidated and don’t let people hold you back. Do not hold yourself back either! Learn from your mistakes. You will make them, but they are only failures if you don’t learn how to do better the next time!”
Thank you to these women in engineering for your continuing contributions to Baisch Engineering and our clients!
Jeannine M. Powell, P.E., Principal, Structural Department Lead and Civil/Structural Engineer
Kaylin L. Van Stappen, BIM Lead and Civil/Structural Engineer
Peggy S. Heling, Process Control Drafter
Judith A. Overton, Process Specialist
Jordan A. Smith, Process Designer
Kelsey M. Ponsegrau, Electrical Designer
We are proud to announce the launch of the updated logo and brand identity as part of the ongoing development of Baisch. While we have grown over the years, we wanted to keep true to who we were so the logo changes reflect a refresh of our logo but maintain our “Baisch B” to represent the pulp and paper industry that we originated from. We reviewed our values to create a brand identity that reflects those values.
Along with announcing our new brand identity, we have launched our new website featuring a modern design. The new site provides a clean and organized way to provide visitors easy access to learn all about Baisch, what we do, and why we do it. Our new website has “responsive design” which resizes automatically to fit the visitor’s browser, whether that device be a computer, tablet, or phone. This design will enable easy viewing on any platform.
By: Todd Van Gompel, President of Baisch Engineering
Baisch Engineering has a long history with Little Rapids Corporation. In the late 70’s / early 80’s, we helped Little Rapids Corporation move an existing tissue machine from New Jersey to Shawano, WI. Almost 40 years later, we were fortunate enough to be asked back to replace this same tissue machine with a new tissue machine. Baisch provided the budgeting phases as well as the complete integration engineering, but this project didn’t come without its challenges.
As the project manager for the detailed engineering portion of this project, it was my responsibility to make sure we were on schedule, staying on budget, and that the overall process was moving along smoothly. In the early part of our planning phase, we were faced with a difficult situation. Machines from 40 years ago are a lot different in both configuration and size compared to modern paper machines. We were challenged to replace a smaller, older machine with a much larger, modern machine within the existing infrastructure of the existing building.
After performing a detailed analysis of the machine’s beams and frames, our team placed new loads on those beams. We had to come up with some creative ways to readjust the machine haul in order to accept the new configuration and weight of the new machine.
During the initial planning phase, the team had planned for a 36 day shutdown. For a small, family owned company like Little Rapids Corporation, shutting down one of their machines for 36 days is a big deal. Throughout the project, our team had a great line of communication and when it came time for the shutdown, we worked hard with our partners to find opportunities to shorten the amount of time the machine would be down for. We utilized our proprietary checkout and startup system to help shorten the overall downtime.
In the end, the team took out the old machine, installed the new equipment and machine, and shortened the length of the shutdown to just 30 days from sheet to sheet! It was a big accomplishment for our team and it really meant a lot to Little Rapids Corporation that we were able to speed up the process by almost a week.
One of the individuals from Little Rapids Corporation actually came up to me and thanked our team for being a part of the project. “You guys have our future in your hands and we trust you,” she said. “Thank you for caring about our future.”
With the new machine, Little Rapids Corporation is able to produce more paper at a faster production rate. It’s more efficient and more cost-friendly. Being involved with this project when it was just an idea in someone’s head, working with Little Rapids Corporation through the budgeting phase, and then having the opportunity to be a part of the detailed engineering and the final machine installation made the whole experience really special for Baisch Engineering. We were involved with everything from beginning to the end, cover to cover and we were able to deliver Little Rapids Corporation with the solution they needed to be a raging success.