May 29, 2014

Featured business person: Melanie Dickey

Melanie Dickey

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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