Seeing CWEEL: Altramese Roberts-Thompkins

In the words of her nominator Altramese, “is a brilliant woman! She is very engaged in her role on the CWEEL board and outside of her professional role in working with young kids looking to engage in the STEM field. She was a co-panelist speaker for a Juneteenth event where she provided the audience with information around Juneteenth and what it means to the African American culture. She is a rockstar hands down and I'm glad to have the opportunity to work with her!” As a part of the CWEEL community, she serves as a mentor and a board member.

She started out babysitting and working as a newspaper ad inserter for the Lansing State Journal. She has come a very long way! She shared more about her story with us, and there is much wisdom intertwined so we have shared it below:

“I became interested in engineering in middle school after attending a women in engineering and science conference. I have always loved to be challenged intellectually, and with this came stretching myself beyond what I deemed as my comfortable limits. STEM definitely has not disappointed, in that even through the challenges of being black and a female in STEM, I have grown immensely and always look forward to helping others do the same. I make an effort to be seen and heard, not for myself, but so those coming behind me know we are out there, and they will not be alone in their journeys.

A career in energy was nowhere on my radar, but I was in need of work prior to completing my graduate studies. By word of mouth via a good friend, I was able to land a student technician position with Texas A&M University's Utilities and Energy Services (TAMU UES) and I loved it! I dove deep into the world of utilities, facilities, and energy management, the beginnings of a career in energy. In 2009, I applied for a full-time position with UES an Energy Analyst and got the job! As an energy analyst, I led energy data management, building modeling, and reporting for the over 24 million gross square feet TAMU campus. In 2011, I was awarded the Outstanding Staff Award. This was my home for almost 7 years, and I am forever grateful for the great experiences and knowledge I gained in my role at A&M.

In 2016, I started at Toyota Motor North America as an Energy Data Specialist in the Production Engineering Facilities Group. My specialties included analytics, data management, performance tracking, reporting, target development, regression analysis, and benchmarking.  I moved over to the Production Engineering Environmental Group in 2019, where I spent a year before moving into my current role in 2020 as a Senior Engineer (Regulatory Systems and Reporting) in Environmental Sustainability, where I am responsible for developing and executing an integrated, long-term data management strategy for North America. I was also honored to join the CWEEL Board in 2020 as the Chair of the U.S. Programs and Events Committee.

I believe you are led in life, by people who believe in you, support you, and see the potential that you may not see in yourself. By taking chances, pushing myself to well beyond the boundaries of my comfort, and having solid support along my journey thus far, I have become the person I am today. I cannot be satisfied with what I have accomplished thus far, without bringing others along for the ride and encouraging others to reach and exceed their potential.”

In Her Own Words

Do you have a quote that has inspired you?
It always seems impossible until it's done.  - Nelson Mandela

What is the best advice you received as a woman in energy?
Don't hold your head down and be in the background, how are people supposed to know how great you are if you don't promote it?

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Fun Facts? Strange Talents?   

  • I am married to Dr. Brandon Tompkins and have two children; Brandon, Jr. and Ellaunie.
  • I was a Division I athlete in college (I threw heavy objects)
  • I have lived in 5 states: Ohio, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
  • I have been to four countries (lived in Germany for a short time): Canada, France, Austria, and Germany.
  • I am a fan of Ohio State and the Dallas Cowboys!
  • Passions: God, family, friends, music, sports, reading, puzzles, mentoring, and traveling.
  • What drives me: Remembering those who paved the road before me!!
  • Things to live by: Be You, We All Make Mistakes, Be the Light