Professional engineer inspires others to pursue STEM careers
Rachel Krepps credits her teachers and college peers with guiding her and keeping her on a straight, calculated path to an engineering career. The professional engineer now takes every opportunity she can to lead and inspire youngsters, women and others to pursue an education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
Rachel graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering with a concentration in power. She has more than a decade of utility experience under her safety vest. Additionally, she has served on various Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) committees for 10 years, and she’s a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers.
As Women’s History Month winds down, we want to spotlight Rachel who works as a senior engineer in our Substation Engineering department at our Nacogdoches Campus. We recently sat down with her for a short interview and want to share highlights with you.
CPS Energy: Why did you choose to come work for CPS Energy?
Rachel: I worked at another utility for nine years prior to moving to San Antonio because of my husband’s job in 2017. CPS Energy seemed like a good match for my skills and I started working here in August of that year.
CPS Energy: What are some of the things you do as a senior engineer in Substation Engineering?
Rachel: Along with general substation design, I do substation ground grid design and arc flash (safety) calculations. I’m always looking for opportunities to apply my experience and knowledge.
CPS Energy: Why is your work at CPS Energy important to our company and customers?
Rachel: I’m designing substations, which are important to maintain reliability and support new system growth. Also, the calculations I perform help ensure the safety of the public and those who work on the equipment.
CPS Energy: Did you have any female role models growing up or in your career?
Rachel: I had a few teachers in elementary and high school who encouraged me to study math, science and engineering. Without them, I may have pursued a different career path. I also relied on a group of women that I met in college. We learned so much from each other and all earned either engineering or science degrees.
Now, I’m always looking for opportunities to get more involved with STEM education and to talk with others about STEM careers. I serve as a STEM coordinator for my son’s Cub Scouts pack, which now includes a few girls.
CPS Energy: What changes have you seen over the years regarding women in STEM careers?
Rachel: The college I attended didn’t admit women until 1995. When I started my studies there in 2000, I was one of only about eight women who were pursuing an electrical engineering degree. By 2016, women made up over 30% of the freshman class. This is great progress, but there’s still a long way to go. I would love to see more women in STEM careers.
Thank you, Rachel, and each of the more than 700 women employees of CPS Energy for the outstanding work you do each and every day for our customers and our community!
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