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Career Connections Series: Engineering and Energy

A primary objective of the Engineering Machine Design Contest is to inspire an interest in engineering and related career pathways. The Career Connections Series serves that purpose, creating awareness of careers related to the year’s theme, as well as providing inspiration for Engineering Machine Design Contest teams as they work on their machine builds.

During the Fall 2021 Career Connections Series, engineers and STEM professionals shared about their career field, how they chose that career path, and what they enjoy about their careers. Students had the opportunity to ask the professionals questions about their careers or anything related to the concept or construction of their chain reaction machine that the professional may help to provide insight on.

Check out the featured professionals’ session recordings below!

Fall 2021 Featured Professionals

Engineering Professor and Student

Rob Sleezer
PhD | Twin Cities Engineering | Faculty
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Rob Sleezer earned his PhD in Microelectronics-Photonics from the University of Arkansas. He attended Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MS and BS in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a faculty member at Twin Cities Engineering which is in the department of Integrated Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Watch the Q&A.

Senior Nuclear Techincal Instructor

Andy Zieglmeier
Senior Nuclear Technical Instructor | Instrumentation and Control
Xcel Energy

Andy Zieglmeier is a United States Naval Submarine Veteran that has fulfilled job duties of Electronic Assembler, Electronic Assembly Lead, Customer Service Representative/Trainer, Support Engineer, Production Manager, Technical and Community College Instructor and now Maintenance Line Instructor for Instrumentation and Controls in Nuclear Generating Plants. He has volunteered in the VEX Robotics Program and manages a 501c3 non-profit organization called Central Minnesota Robotics.

Watch the Q&A.

Head & Senior Key Expert in Energy Market Management System

Ashmin Mansingh
Head & Senior Key Expert – Energy Market Management System
Siemens Digital Grid

Ashmin Mansignh has 24+ years of experience in the Energy Grid Management business as an engineer and leader. He had the opportunity to lead many innovative and technically challenging projects in both the Energy Management System and Energy Market Management System around the globe and has been awarded multiple US patents for his innovation in the grid management and energy scheduling areas. He is currently serving as the Head and Senior Key Expert of the Energy Market Management Team of Siemens Digital Grid. He has an MS degree in both Power Systems and Computer Science.

Watch the Q&A.

Director of Energy Center of Excellence

Rose Patzer
Interim Executive Director
Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence

Rose Patzer has a MBA in Business Administration and a B.A. in Chemistry. Rose has served as faculty at Minnesota West since 2007 in the Biofuels Technology and Energy Technical Specialist programs. She also provides project management services to the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence activities and actively participates in the Minnesota Energy Consortium meetings. She has a number of publications, presentations, awards, and certifications in areas renewable energy, biodiesel, and agriculture. She enjoys promoting awareness about the renewable and traditional energy industries and has actively participated in a variety of energy-related federal and state grants throughout her career. Rose currently serves as the interim executive director for the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence.

Watch the Q&A

Civil Engineer

Mark Origer, P.E.
Civil Engineer
ISG Inc.

Mark Origer primarily works in water resources which includes stormwater management, drainage solutions, storage ponds, wetland restorations, hydraulic/hydrologic modeling, environmental permitting and review, and flood studies. While water resources engineering is very broad, he works on projects related more specifically to wetlands, rivers, lakes, ditches, and ponds. Some of his daily tasks include project management, client interaction, design of stormwater infrastructure, and public hearings with government units and private landowners.

Watch the Q&A.

Energy Programs and Services Representative

Dillon Malay
Programs and Services Representative
Minnesota Power

Dillon Malay assists in the planning, development, and delivery of Minnesota Power’s customer programs and services including energy conservation, renewable energy, affordability, and beneficial electrification. He mainly focuses on promoting and delivering company offerings to Industrial, Commercial and Agricultural customers in Minnesota Power’s western division. The Conservation Improvement Program is an initiative Dillon promotes.

Watch the Q&A.