Allison Lunde

Allison Lunde

Midwest Regional Manager, Hydropower & Dams

Allison Lunde is the Midwest Regional Manager – Hydropower & Dams USA for Hatch’s Power Business Unit. She is a senior structural engineer with over thirteen years of civil and structural engineering experience in heavy industrial, wind energy, and hydroelectric facilities. She has been with Hatch for more than three years and oversees a multidisciplinary team of civil, structural, geotechnical, and water resource engineers. Allison works out of our Minneapolis office. 

Allison was raised in Minnesota and attended Iowa State University where she earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (structural emphasis) and a Master of Business Administration degree.

Along with her fully supportive husband, Allison is raising two young children and a dog. Keeping up with two young, energy packed kids has kept her on her toes and busy when not helping her clients achieve their goals. She enjoys watching her children grow and try new activities to find their passions, skills, and talents. In the spare time, she enjoys golfing with her husband (and hopefully with the kids in the near future), enjoying time in their backyard pool, traveling, and watching collegiate and professional sporting events.

Allison has been recognized by her peers for her commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, honoring her with a 2023 Positive Change Award.

We have people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. By having a diverse organization, both by gender and other diversity metrics, we truly solve the hardest problems.
Why did you become interested in the STEM field?

As a young student, I was naturally good at math and science and asked a lot of ‘why’ questions. I always thought I would be an attorney but in high school I joined the Science Olympiad and participated in the boomilever/tower competition, which was an event to see who could build the lightest structure that held the most weight. I loved every minute of it. By my junior and senior years, I was going to state competitions. I ended up in the top three my senior year and thought, ‘well that was fun, but what do I do with it.’ One of my teachers, Mr. Daryl Lundin, suggested engineering as a profession, specifically structural engineering. He is the person that connected all my strengths and joys together into a meaningful profession.

What myths would you dispel about being a woman in a STEM field?

The common myths about women in STEM usually go like this:

  • Girls are bad at math. Factually, there is no gender difference in math abilities.
  • Women are disinterested in careers in STEM. Data has shown that women’s participation in STEM increases in inclusive cultural environments.
  • Engineers spend all of their time doing math. That’s incorrect. I have never spent an entire week, let alone an entire day doing just calculations. The truth is we work on interdisciplinary teams for almost every project. Engineering is significantly more than writing things on a notepad and using calculations.

Many of these myths have not aged well in the last two decades but are very much still embedded into many cultural narratives and societal views. It’s incumbent upon me and the generations of future women to change that to achieve gender equality in the field.

What advice would you give young women about the STEM field?

One thing that wasn’t mentioned to me in middle school or high school is that careers in STEM fields can be incredibly rewarding, pay well, and offer a high standard of living over the long term. Take the risk and try out different areas of STEM in middle school, high school, and college. Take the opportunity to try out different companies and jobs to find your passion in STEM.

Find a mentoring and peer network, such as the Society of Women Engineers. And don’t tolerate the myths. Prove everyone wrong by showing up each day to do your best. Small step changes lead to big success over time.

Also, don’t let the B or C grade in a class discourage you. There is a misconception that you have to be a straight A student to be a successful engineer. The most talented engineers I know and work with everyday were not straight A students in high school or college.

Did you have any mentors during your education and/or career? Have you been a mentor to someone?

Yes, so many mentors that I cannot list them all. Some have been formal, and some have been informal mentorships throughout high school, college, and my professional career. Ultimately, looking back, I have found some of the informal mentorships the most rewarding. I didn’t even know I was being mentored most of the times. I have had many executive female consulting engineers from competing firms cheer me on in all my successes. These are amazing women that only want the best for me, even if we have to bid against each other from time to time.

On a personal level, I had an epiphany over the last year or so when I found out that many of my colleagues looked up to me and my informal mentoring. I realized this when I was not only nominated but was awarded the Hatch Positive Change Inspirational Women Award in the US region. It was truly telling to understand that daily, positive interactions do impact those around you in a positive manner.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Currently, I am most proud of the team we are building at Hatch in the US Hydropower & Dams group. Under Ryan Berg’s leadership in the US, we have crushed it the last few years in building a young, talented team that is winning work, and solving difficult, complicated problems while staying focused on work-life balance.

Personally, I am proud of the extensive professional growth I have had while at Hatch over the last 3½ years. I never thought I would be working on projects at some of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the United States or traveling to South America to complete condition assessments of numerous hydropower projects. The best part of my job is working alongside some of the most passionate individuals in the industry to provide clean, renewable, and reliable energy to the power grid. Those relationships with my colleagues and clients are what matters the most.

Do you feel supported at Hatch?

At Hatch, I have had amazing support by leadership and my colleagues. Everyone is working toward the same goals. Ryan Berg recruited me and has been my biggest supporter both internally and externally. He has given me more opportunities, respect, and trust than many people get in their entire careers. He is incredibly supportive of my goals and ambitions and helps to keep pushing me to my fullest potential.

My colleagues are the reason I come to my computer each day and give my best. We all support each other and help each other grow in many ways each day. We push each other to continue to provide high-quality work to our clients and solve the next challenge in the industry.

How do you think the Hatch culture is different from other companies related to diversity and inclusion?

We have people from all different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. By having a diverse organization, both by gender and other diversity metrics, we truly solve the hardest problems. Learning how to work with people all around the world has been humbling and incredibly rewarding. I learn a great deal from my colleagues on a daily basis – technically, professionally and culturally. Hatch truly values diversity and inclusion. We are an incredibly diverse organization. It was one of the first things I noticed when I started at Hatch.