Susi was born and raised in Colombia and lived in Louisiana, Florida and Paris for a few years before graduating from High School. After graduating from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil foundations Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes, she joined Soletanche Bachy, a French company specialized in geotechnical work designing deep and tunnels in South America and the Caribbean. After two years in the workplace, she then moved to Ithaca to pursue her Masters in Engineering Management at Cornell University, from which she graduated in 2008. Ms. Lara-Mesa joined CDM Smith where she focused her work in water distribution and water management systems, and water, wastewater and reclaimed water treatment plants. She was also involved with the Harvard Allston Development Complex as one of the integration Engineers and designing a central energy distribution facility which combined gas turbines, geothermal wells, solar and wind energy.
In 2010, she joined K.P. Kauffman Company where she was the Vice President of Engineering for over nine years. She oversaw the drilling, completion, production, and abandonment operations, and also the regulatory compliance and government affairs. While at KPK, she pursued a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. She is now the Director of Technical Services in the North Business Unit of DCP Midstream. As so, she is in charge of the Asset Engineering Team in the plants and booster stations, and their Reliability Program. She is also actively involved with Engineering Day for Girls, a program that allows female High School students to spend time with female Engineers understanding what they do and engaging them to pursue careers in Math and Science.
What inspired you to explore STEM when you were young?
My dad, who is a Civil Engineer too.
What do you enjoy most about what you do in your STEM career?
Making people’s lives better on a daily basis.
What is a fun, bizarre or insightful STEM fact about your field?
I never have two days that are the same, my teams are constantly solving different problems and I constantly collaborate with different disciplines as we try to find answers.