With a smile on her face, Kyle Marlay asked the room full of seventh graders at Argentine Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas, if they liked building tree houses or designing things with Legos. After a few shy nods, she explained that this interest and a love of problem solving is what first interested her in a career in engineering.
Marlay began working for Shafer, Kline & Warren (SKW) as a project designer in the infrastructure division after completing two internships with the company. Five years later, as assistant team leader of integrity management in SKW’s pipeline services group, Marlay focuses on helping her team deliver solutions for clients and passing on her love of engineering to the next generation.
“I really enjoy helping students develop that connection and interest in the STEM fields,” said Marlay whose corrosion demonstration brought engineering to life for students at Argentine Middle School during Career Day. “For me, it’s a way I can give back and be a resource for those who share my interests.”
While working in the Kansas City area, Marlay served as a judge for the FIRST Lego League for several years, and for two summers she served as a camp leader for the Society of American Military Engineers’ STEM Engineering & Camps.
“During the week-long camp, I really got to know the kids and help them learn how to work together to solve problems,” said Marlay. “I was impressed with how bright the kids were and how quickly they picked up on the various concepts.”
Marlay credits Mike Stein, structural team leader, with providing her support and mentorship as she began her engineering career.
“When I started, Mike offered me a lot of help and guidance. Just a few years earlier, he had been in my shoes. Like me, I think he enjoys giving back and helping to encourage up-and-coming engineers,” said Marlay who recently earned her professional engineering license.
Two years ago, as the pipeline integrity and corrosion services team at SKW grew, Marlay was offered the opportunity to take on a project management role on the team.
“It was chance for me to grow and further develop my skills,” said Marlay. “SKW showed a lot of trust in my talent and capability to pick up a wide range of technical knowledge. It’s rewarding to work for a company that gives you that type of an opportunity.”
With a growing team, SKW’s staff located in Tulsa recently moved into a new, larger office space.
“We have a really relaxed, family-like work environment, and as more people join our team, it seems like our family just gets bigger,” said Marlay. “We really take a lot of pride in our team and our new office space.”
Prior to joining SKW, Marlay earned her bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and her master’s in civil engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
“I strive to be a successful, productive part of SKW and my group. I want us to be that go-to company for our clients and an example for future professionals to look up to,” said Marlay.