Catie Joyce Bulay
Behind the Scenes: Meet Our Electrical Engineer
It’s so exciting to see progress happening with our new exhibits! We recently hired a civil engineer (whom you can read about here) and an electrical engineer as part of the building’s design team, along with architect Margaret Innes. Sara Richardson will help support some of the building changes, like making sure the entrances and exits have good lighting and power is everywhere it needs to be in the new restrooms – critical behind-the-scenes stuff people don’t often realize needs to happen.
Sara, principal/owner of Richardson Engineering, has a long history of electricity in her family. She grew up in York and got her degree at UMaine. Thanks, Sara for taking the time to tell us a little more about yourself and what you do!
Children’s Discovery Museum: How would you describe your job to a 5-year-old?
Sara: I am an electrical engineer and when someone is building a new building or making changes, I help them figure out how to safely get power everywhere it needs to go. This means that lights turn on and off and fun things like computers and TVs work.
CDM: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Sara: Before I knew what engineering was, I wanted to be a veterinarian (now I just have plenty of my own animals).
CDM: How did you get interested in electrical engineering?
My family has an electrical construction company that has been around since 1899. My dad was an electrical engineer and his dad before him, and my great grandfather was an electrician, so I guess it was in my blood. My great grandfather started putting magnetos into people’s houses outside Boston that would spark and light gas lamps and later was paid by the Edison Company to install the first electricity to people’s homes in that area. I have also always really liked math.
CDM: What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Sara: I have two favorite things about what I do. First, sometimes projects that I work on are like puzzles and when I solve a problem or figure out the answer it is pretty exciting! Second, I have been able to be a part of some really interesting projects from the Children’s Museum to building Wind Turbines on Cape Cod to helping one of NOAA’s ships, the Ferdinand Hassler, that has been mapping the Gulf of Maine with some of their electrical systems.
CDM: If you could have a super power what would it be and why?
My son and I have talked about this a lot. Definitely super intelligence, I am pretty sure you could figure out flying, time travel, invisibility, and solving world peace with enough smarts.