Women in Construction | Carol-Ann Denning

For Women in Construction Week 2024, we’re spotlighting the remarkable stories of women engineers at Providence Engineering. Discover how they embarked on their journey into this profession and the experiences that have shaped their careers.

What would you say is a key to your success in the industry?

In the AEC industry, not unlike other business areas, being open to change and seeking out change for the betterment of the company is paramount. The AEC industry is affected significantly by the economy, and engineering is impacted by the limited available labor force, so being able to pivot and navigate unencumbered is helpful. I live “in the gray” because of the ambiguity and diversity of issues I need to address each day.

What advice do you have for young professionals starting their career in engineering?

Engineering is a career of continuous learning. In my area of structural engineering for buildings, we design with many different construction materials for various types of client projects and deliver those projects with various project delivery methods. We also have many different possible roles for various project types. I have been doing this for a long time and I learn something new every day. Young engineers should know that their education does not stop after they have passed the test for their professional engineering license.

What’s the one thing that prepared you the most for your career in engineering?

Although I did not have any exposure to engineering in my youth, my parents brought me up with the idea that I could do anything if I worked hard and enjoyed it. Also, my father, Ed, never treated me or my sisters as though we were stuck with “female” careers or pastimes. We had Christmases when we received fishing poles and tackle boxes and softball gear, and we were never discouraged from trying things because we were girls.

What is one of your favorite projects and why?

The former Wolfgang Candy plant is one of my favorite projects because it included many interesting parts rolled into one: new storage additions, renovations to the existing building, and making accommodations for processing equipment.