Featured business person: Melanie Dickey

05/29/2014 12:00 AM

05/28/2014 1:53 PM

Melanie Dickey

Architectural engineer, PEC

Dickey recently became the first female principal at PEC, as the engineering consulting firm prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“It was a goal when I started,” she said. The title brings with it “more management of people, but I still do design and work with clients.”

Dickey, 42, grew up in El Dorado and earned a degree in architectural engineering from Kansas State University in 1997. She’s spent her entire professional career at PEC, including a couple of summers during college.

Dickey said she originally wanted to be an architect like her uncle, Keith Rhoades, who worked for WDM Architects before retiring. “Then I realized I’m not an artist. I’m good at math, so I chose the engineering side of it.”

She’s done a lot of mechanical and plumbing design for Cessna. She called the company’s service center at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport “one of my most memorable projects, for good reason.”

“It was so massive. It was just a fun project to work on. You get to work on industrial as well as high-level finish areas.”

Dickey said she used to play a lot of volleyball and recently took up golf.

“As long as I keep cutting off strokes, I feel better.”

Joe Stumpe

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