Alumna Alicia Gilpin Empowers Women to Pursue Engineering Degrees and Start Companies

Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Alicia Gilpin collage, including her wearing a hard hat

A 2010 Rose-Hulman chemical engineering alumna, Gilpin recently posted a photo on LinkedIn of her Rose diploma with a logo sticker of her company, Process & Controls Engineering LLC.

Alicia Gilpin is on a mission. A 2010 Rose-Hulman chemical engineering alumna, Gilpin recently posted a photo on LinkedIn of her Rose diploma with a logo sticker of her company, Process & Controls Engineering LLC. Gilpin explained she wants the image to represent something to young girls — that women can do anything, including earn an engineering degree and start their own company.

After ten years of working in the engineering field for other companies, Gilpin started Process & Controls Engineering LLC in 2018. The Seattle-based control systems integration firm offers a wide range of control system solutions, including engineering, UL 508A control panel design, PLC, HMI, SCADA programming, cybersecurity, networking and robotic application simulations. It also provides training, equipment/electrical troubleshooting, remote support, project management and instrumentation assessments for companies across the United States.

Originally from Hawaii, Gilpin applied to Rose-Hulman because she was looking for a highly-ranked engineering school to study chemical engineering. As a student, she was involved with Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Alpha Chi Sigma. Her chemical engineering capstone design project involved growing algae and turning it into various forms. After graduating, she took a job as a process engineer with Heliae, LLC where she worked on a similar algae project, converting it to biodiesel. Gilpin credits her experience as a student and with the capstone project as the reason she secured that job.

“Working in the labs at Rose were amazing,” says Gilpin. “I was exposed to so many things that I didn’t even know about, but now I work with.”

Over the years, Gilpin worked in process engineering and then transitioned to controls. Early in her career, she was part of a greenfield project, which involves developing a new building over land that has never been developed. Through that project, Gilpin learned how to navigate procurement in engineering projects. She later went on to run a UL508a shop and traveled the country starting burner and gas train controls applications.

Gilpin continued her involvement with Rose as a mentor to teams of chemical engineering seniors on their final capstone design projects for two years. She experienced firsthand the value of her degree and wants to find other female engineers and encourage them to start companies as she did.

“People said I was an anomaly as a woman who owned her own engineering company,” says Gilpin. “I want women to see this is something we can do. It’s not just male engineers that start their own businesses.”

It’s this desire that led her to start the Automation Ladies Podcast with fellow female engineer Nikki Gonzales.

“We are interviewing the most amazing women doing things with robotics and engineering,” says Gilpin. “A lot of these women started as receptionists or hostesses. Not all of them have a technical background, but they decided they wanted to study STEM. Women are all over the place and we need to work together. Women are in manufacturing jobs and fixing robots. We need to be more visible and show the world that women are doing amazing things, in engineering and automation, and in the future of manufacturing.”

The Automation Ladies Podcast is set to debut in summer of 2022. Gilpin, who has almost 30,000 followers on LinkedIn, is using the platform to market the podcast and showcase the featured women in STEM.