Women of SCC: An Outstanding Engineer of the Year

Lynn Billings-Thomas's picture


Marjorie Parsons recently received the 2017 Jo Conn Guild Outstanding Engineer of the Year award, an honor presented annually to an engineer who has made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession, public welfare, and/or humankind.

A UTC grad in electrical engineering, Margie is a senior program manager in TVA’s Transmission Planning department, leading the planning of many large transmission line and substation projects; and a NERC Planning Coordinator, working in lead roles with other utilities inside and outside TVA to ensure interconnected power system reliability. She is also Vice Chair of the IEEE, Chattanooga Section.

Outside her day job, Margie works with STEM programs, encouraging young people (especially girls) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. She is also a Master Gardener, a beekeeper, and enjoys running and biking.

Margie says her interest in engineering happened organically and she followed the route that made sense to her. "I wasn't ‘born’ an engineer. I had no exposure to it as a child, one of the reasons the STEM work I do is so important to me. My mom always said I could do anything if I was willing to work for it. Growing up with four brothers helped me be comfortable in what has been, and still is, primarily a profession for men.”

Although she has no formal music background, she was brought up with music through her father’s love for it. “Dad was a soloist from an early age at local events. He would gather his children, four reluctant boys and two girls, to sing around the piano while he played.”

With school, family and other obligations, Margie didn’t think much about singing until invited to a SCC Christmas show. She joined SCC in 2015 and has never looked back.

“The sisterhood that symbolizes SCC pulled me in and keeps me coming back. I am excited and still a bit amazed to be part of this group of master singers!”