Alabama NewsCenter: What is your job title and work location?
Mike Watson: Distribution engineer, Saraland – Mobile Division.
ANC: How long have you worked for the company?
Watson: Nine years, including four co-op terms.
ANC: Where did you go to school?
Watson: The University of South Alabama.
ANC: What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?
Watson: I have always had an interest in math and science. When I was a senior, I participated in a program called Science Olympiad. One of our projects included building a robot. That project solidified my desire to pursue engineering as a career field.
ANC: Can you provide a brief description of your work?
Watson: I design distribution lines that serve our residential, commercial and industrial customers in the Mobile area. I also help with storm restoration activities.
ANC: What do you find most rewarding about your career?
Watson: I like seeing a job when it is completed. I also get a lot of satisfaction from our customers who express appreciation when we restore their power after a storm. Additionally, I enjoy working as a mentor for students at Williamson High School, our partner school, in their robotics competitions.
ANC: What makes you most optimistic or excited about the role engineers are playing in the innovation economy?
Watson: The innovation economy is the key to success for our company in the future. We know there are challenges ahead, but engineers by nature are problem-solvers. Their input and ideas will help our company move fully into the innovation economy, and they will help our customers as they also work to find innovative solutions to their own energy challenges.
ANC: What do most non-engineers not understand about engineering and/or engineers?
Watson: Most engineers are very specialized, with a specific area of expertise. Many non-engineers do not realize that every engineer is not an expert in every aspect of engineering.
ANC: How many pocket protectors do you own?
Watson: I have traded in my pocket protector for a smart watch.