A passion for math in her late teens is what led Kayla Dison, Directorate of Public Works electrical design engineer, to pursue engineering when she started school at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. What Dison didn’t know was that interest would eventually lead her to a career on Redstone Arsenal, assisting DPW in building and renovating properties for a variety of customers on Redstone Arsenal.
Dison is from Rogersville, Alabama, and her path from student to engineer started when she accepted an internship at the Garrison during her senior year at UAH in 2015. Through the internship, Dison had the opportunity to advance to a full-time position through the Career Ladder program, which required interns to meet certain requirements including logging 600 total work hours and maintaining part-time status throughout the term of their internship.
Through the Career Ladder, Dison slowly took on more responsibilities, ultimately working her way up to a full-time position in 2016. Now, she is part of a team that uses the expertise of a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer (Dison), an architect, a civil engineer, CAD technicians, a project manager and a team lead to tackle renovation projects for customers across the Arsenal.
“We take a renovation project and all work together in our separate disciplines to create a product,” Dison said. “My part is doing the electrical designs on the team projects, and then any independent electrical jobs that come up.”
Dison said these jobs may include renovating spaces from the ground up to create entirely new infrastructure or modernizing old infrastructure and bringing it up to code.
One of Dison’s hobbies that overlaps with her professional life is renovating houses. She said the skills she uses to renovate commercial spaces on the Arsenal also come in handy in her down-time.
But, what does she do when she’s not designing electrical layouts for buildings? “I love to travel,” Dison said. “Most trips are spent somewhere that involves a beach.”
Although she has been working in a full-time capacity for most of her time with DPW, the benefits she gained from the Career Ladder program have not been lost on Dison. She said the Career Ladder path allowed her to begin making early connections with people she would soon be working with full-time, helping her get a grasp on DPW’s organizational structure and scope.
While there are unique challenges that come with the type of work Dison is involved in, including meeting tight deadlines and maintaining clear communication with customers, she appreciates the amount of collaboration and the relationships that she has had the opportunity to form during her six years on the Arsenal.