Diversity Profile - Heather Doty
Recognized on a national scale as an advocate and role model for women in engineering, Structural Engineer Heather Doty would rather describe herself as an avid math advocate first.
“We need all people to be excited about math and science, and especially excited about what can be achieved with math,” she said.
An optimist and self-described humanist, she believes there isn’t anyone who can’t do math. “People just need the chance to think about it in a way that works for them.”
Appreciating the differences in how people think is important to Doty, and that’s one reason she feels fulfilled in her work at Ball Aerospace.
“Innovation is what we do here. It’s who we are,” she said. “Engineering is collaborative, and when you bring different individuals together, you breed stronger innovation.”
“At Ball Aerospace, we value the consideration of wildly different ideas to help solve complex engineering problems. By the end of the brainstorming, many people will have contributed to the final solution,” Doty explained.
Her passion for problem solving has led to significant successes in her relatively young career. As a structural engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope for more than five years, she helped solve optical challenges of the telescope’s folding mirror system. She also works on research and development programs as well as hardware projects for various customers and is pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at the University of Colorado.
Recognized by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for her outstanding technical performance in the first 10 years of her career, Doty said that serving as a role model for young women is a “nice way to give back to the phenomenal women who were mentors to me.”
Doty has held numerous leadership positions within SWE, including regional lieutenant governor, section president, regional student coordinator, and counselor coordinator. She was awarded SWE Outstanding Counselor in 2008. In her spare time, she has taught college algebra and enjoys playing Zimbabwean-style music.
Although dedicated to inspiring women both personally and in the aerospace field, Doty said there is a larger, human goal behind her efforts.
“We’ll all achieve more by celebrating our differences in viewpoints. You never know where the best idea is going to come from.”