Editor’s note: In recognition of National Engineers Week (Feb. 21-27), we'd like to celebrate the employees in this field of expertise. Through their knowledge and guidance, we continue to provide clean, safe, and reliable and sustainable energy to the San Diego Region.
In college, while most are trying to decide their major or taking obscure electives, Jamie Padilla stayed true to her chosen discipline – engineering. And her dedication paid off. Following an internship with our company during her senior year of college, Padilla returned to SDG&E after graduating and secured the title of Engineer 1.
While this was an entry-level role with the local utility, it would open a world of opportunities for the recent college grad.
In her current role, she works to ensure that all substation-related equipment is safe and operational. This work is paramount to providing safe and reliable efficient energy to the 3.4 million San Diegans who call our community home.
Born and raised in San Diego, Padilla attended Bonita Vista High School in the South Bay. During her internship, Padilla discovered that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign would best suit her, as the company recruited from their engineering program.
And while her internship provided early first-hand experience, she had another connection to the company. Her mother, Leslie Padilla, also worked as an engineer for 34 years. (For 14 years, Leslie was an employee of SDG&E, eventually moving to Sempra for another 20 years).
With this background and understanding of our company’s inner workings, Padilla shaped the course of her career.
“I always knew that I wanted to come back and work for SDG&E,” said Padilla. “It’s a terrific company that provides many opportunities for its employees – both in their careers and in ‘extracurriculars’.”
Memorable Projects and Opportunities
Among all the notable projects that Padilla has worked on, she is excitedly anticipating the completion of the Artesian Expansion Substation Project. Once that project reaches the commissioning phase, Padilla will step in to work her magic.
“When it comes to these big projects, our ultimate goal is to keep the communities that we’re working in safe,” said Padilla. “The last thing we want to do is shut off power to replace equipment, but, sometimes, it is necessary. When this happens, we shift to ‘How do we get service restored as quickly as possible?’”
Padilla also emphasizes the veritable “extracurricular” volunteer opportunities found at our company. She and her team significantly engage in community outreach, where they encourage students to pursue STEM and engineering at large.
“I like the idiom ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” said Padilla. “So, I believe that interpersonal relationships between employees are just as important as any project. While my family introduced me to this company, my co-workers are the main reason for sticking around.”
Thank you, Jamie Padilla, for all your hard work and dedication to our company’s mission!