Shawna Westerlund // Student Story

November 2, 2018

Shawna Westerlund is a Mechanical and Energy Engineering Major at Pikes Peak Community College and in 2019 will also attend the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, continuing her education. She is currently a member of our Colorado Springs Utilities Project team.

I am one of the few authentic Colorado Springs natives. I was born and raised right here in the Springs. For the past 31 years, I’ve been lucky enough to call this place home. I am currently a student at Pikes Peak Community College and in 2019 I will be a concurrent student at UCCS as well. I am a mechanical and energy engineering major. When I graduate my dream is to help transform the future of our energy use. Whether working at the city and utility level or developing new energy sources through the National Renewable Energy Research Lab or NASA. I want to give to the future in the biggest way possible. My passion is environmental protection and sustainable resources.

When I get asked who I am I struggle to answer. Not because I don’t know who I am, but because there is so much to say. I am a single mother of three amazing girls. They are my biggest inspiration and drive. I’m also a coach. I coach girls from 8-12 years old in competitive ice hockey. I am a black belt in karate. I am also from a very large family and I’m lucky enough that most of them still live close by. My daughters and I also take a trip once a year to an underdeveloped nation to teach a two-week sports camp. We enjoy traveling as often as our schedules allow and love to give back when we do and experience new cultures. I am also a project analyst with The Quad. An accolade I’m very proud of.

I was inspired to apply for the Quad internship because of their project with Colorado Springs Utilities. My team is working to help develop a plan for the future of the utility after the end of the coal power plant. I’m really enjoying working with other students not only from different schools but also from differing degree programs. I think that has brought a well-rounded outlook to the project as a whole. The Quad is an essential part of the community. It is the best way to tackle big problems that the city is facing. No one person is making decisions when it comes to Quad problem solving, we are a team. The Quad is truly the fixers of the future.