Tomorrow is Designed Today: How CADimensions’ Women in Tech Are Transforming the World of Engineering

At CADimensions, the spirit of innovation is not just a goal but a daily practice, driven by a diverse and dynamic team. Among this team, the women of CADimensions stand out as trailblazers, pushing the boundaries of engineering and redefining what is possible. These extraordinary women are not only advancing technology but also paving the way for future generations. Their stories of perseverance, creativity, and excellence are a testament to the transformative power of diversity in the engineering field.  Join us in celebrating the achievements and contributions of CADimensions' women in engineering, spotlighting how their groundbreaking work is shaping the future. 


Amy Peterson – CADimensions Technical Trainer and Product Designer 

Amy_PetersonAmy Peterson

Amy Peterson, a powerhouse in the world of design and engineering, brings over 13 years of expertise as a Product Designer and Technical Trainer. Renowned for her groundbreaking innovations, Amy's ingenuity has secured her several U.S. Utility patents. Her passion for teaching and her knack for solving complex problems through unconventional software applications highlight her exceptional ability to inspire and drive progress. Amy's contributions are not just impactful—they are revolutionary, setting new standards for brilliance and creativity in engineering. 

“Navigating the realm of engineering as a woman presents its own unique set of challenges and triumphs. From the moment we step into the classroom or workplace, we often find ourselves in the minority, surrounded by a predominantly male environment. Yet, this very reality ignites a fierce determination within us to not only excel but to pave the way for future generations of women in STEM. As women in engineering, we bring a diverse perspective to the table, enriching the field with fresh ideas and innovative solutions. We challenge stereotypes and break barriers, proving that intellect knows no gender. However, our journey is not without its hurdles. We encounter bias and skepticism, facing the constant need to prove our worth in a field historically dominated by men. Yet, with each obstacle, we rise stronger and more resilient. We forge bonds with fellow female engineers, forming a support network that empowers us to shatter glass ceilings and surpass expectations.  

Being a woman in engineering means embracing both our successes and setbacks, knowing that each experience shapes us into the trailblazers of tomorrow. It's about embracing our passion for innovation and using it to drive positive change in the world. Personally, I take pride in being acknowledged as an inventor on seven U.S. patents. Witnessing the realization of these projects fills me with immense satisfaction. The ability to physically hold and witness something I conceptualized manifest in the real world is an unparalleled sensation. Collaborating with numerous remarkable women has been a source of joy, highlighting the collective impact we can achieve. My journey wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering support of my mother, a paragon of intelligence and resilience.  Together, we defy stereotypes, rewrite narratives, and inspire future generations to pursue their dreams unapologetically, regardless of gender.” – Amy Peterson 



One of Amy's many creations - this cell phone holder was designed by Amy and eventually 3D printed by our team.


Autumn Dekay – CADimensions Technical Support Application Engineer 

Autumn is a dynamic force in both mechanical engineering and IT, with a rich history of driving success across diverse industries. Her extensive experience is complemented by her dedication to mentoring the next generation of innovators as a sought-after tutor in math and engineering. Autumn's expertise and passion for education empower her to make a lasting impact, fostering excellence and inspiring future leaders in the engineering realm. 

  “In my senior year of college, I embarked on an ambitious capstone project I like to call ‘Project Stoneblood.’ The goal was simple yet intriguing: genetically engineer E.Coli to produce a food-safe petrichor extract. I wanted to use the smell of rain as an ingredient in my cooking. I had this really strong vision of drinking a cup of coffee that smelled like a summer storm. My inspiration came from a Synthetic Biology class where I learned about CRISPR-Cas9 and the components that make up the smell of rain: ozone, plant oils, and a chemical called geosmin. 

The Components of Petrichor 

  • Ozone: The smell of ozone is relatively simple to replicate, as it’s produced by electric arcs. However, I didn't focus on generating ozone safely in a lab setting since it wasn’t the main challenge. 
  • Plant Oils: These are the unique scents from local flora that give rain its distinct smell in different locations. From pine-scented rain in the Rockies to the concrete-tinged smell in suburban areas, this part was fascinating but not my primary focus since plant oils are readily available.  
  • Geosmin: This is the key player—a chemical responsible for the earthy smell after rain, produced by a common bacterium called streptomyces. Geosmin is detected at extremely low concentrations and is also known for its bitterness. Fortunately, the genetic sequence for geosmin synthase, the enzyme that produces geosmin, is well-documented. 

The Process 

  • Research: I spent months verifying the exact DNA sequence needed to produce geosmin synthase.  
  • Mail-Order DNA: I ordered the custom DNA sequence from a specialized company that sends tiny vials of DNA on dry ice. 
  • PCR Amplification: I used this technique to replicate the DNA, turning a few drops into a much larger quantity. 
  • Gel Electrophoresis: This test ensured I had the correct DNA sequence, although I had to repeat it multiple times due to initial errors. 
  • Cell-Free System: I introduced the DNA into a cell-free system, which uses cellular machinery to produce proteins without needing living cells. The goal was to produce geosmin synthase and, subsequently, geosmin. 

The Result 

With the final presentation looming, I eagerly awaited the production of geosmin. However, upon opening the container, I was met with a horrific stench rather than the earthy smell of rain. Despite this setback, I managed to pull together my project and earned an A.  

The Dream of Rainy Coffee 

The next steps would have involved genetically engineering E. coli to produce geosmin synthase, cultivating the bacteria, and experimenting with the final product to ensure it was food-safe. My ultimate dream was to create a cup of coffee that smelled like rain, using geosmin extract. 

A Serendipitous Encounter 

A few months after graduation, a flat tire led me to a serendipitous discovery. While waiting for AAA, I found a hidden coffee roaster in the parking lot. To my astonishment, they offered geosmin as an ingredient. I tried a sample, and it tasted exactly like rain. Although my project didn’t reach this stage, it was a magical moment to experience the dream I had worked so hard to achieve.  


‘Project Stoneblood’ was an incredible journey of learning, experimentation, and unexpected outcomes. While I didn’t achieve my original goal, the experience taught me invaluable lessons about perseverance and the potential of synthetic biology. And in the end, I got to taste the rain in a cup of coffee.” - Autumn Dekay 

In addition to this compelling capstone project, Autumn also channels her expertise into shaping the future of engineering through her efforts on the Technical Support team and by volunteering as a mechanical engineering mentor with a FIRST Robotics Competition team in her spare time.   

"Volunteering with FIRST Robotics and supporting customers as a technical support engineer are two sides of the same coin—both are about solving challenges and uplifting others. By mentoring students, I contribute to their growth as future engineers and leaders. By providing technical support, I help customers navigate complexities and achieve their objectives. My goal is to inspire, guide, and make lasting positive impacts in every role I undertake." - Autumn Dekay  


 Video from FIRST Robotics Competition

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Photos from FIRST Robotics Competition

Through her dedication, she not only imparts knowledge but also ignites a passion for innovation, preparing students to excel in an ever-evolving technological landscape. 


Sara Reynolds - Services Team Manager 


Sara Reynolds

Sara possesses a wealth of expertise in designing cutting-edge equipment spanning motion picture films, single-use cameras, consumer cameras, and solenoid valves crucial for aviation. Her proficiency extends beyond design; she spearheaded the establishment of manufacturing facilities across international borders prior to her time at CADimensions. Now with an illustrious 20-year tenure at CADimensions, Sara currently orchestrates the training and services division, leveraging her seasoned insights to drive innovation and excellence.  

“I have been fortunate in my career to work with incredible people and on amazing projects for the past 30+ years. I have been able to travel to other countries to set up manufacturing plants, be part of ribbon cutting ceremonies, developed unique methods for manufacturing that turned into patents and created manufacturing processes for consumer goods. I have worked with teams that won technical academy awards, teams that changed the look of creating personal images and photography and being part of iconic brands.  

 My current role allows me to see an incredibly broad range of industries and products that are being designed and manufactured. It amazes me the talent of people we have both internally and the customers that we provide service to. I would not have been able to do any of this if I let it bother me that I was mostly the only female in my classes, and one of the few and sometimes only female in my department. It also helped having wonderful people around me that didn’t see me as a gender, but for what I brought to the team. There have been some not so great experiences along the way, but my positive ones were able to outweigh their impact. I also had a couple females in higher positions that I could talk to and emulate for they broke ground before me.” – Sara Reynolds 

The Future Will Continue to be Engineered by Women's Excellence 

Collectively, the remarkable women at CADimensions  continue to drive technological advancements and creating pathways for the future. Their contributions to our customer base and extracurricular activities are fueled by dedication and perseverance, continually inspire and reshape the engineering sector. Celebrating their achievements highlights the profound impact of diversity and the limitless possibilities women bring to the engineering field.  

“If you truly believe in your idea or theory, don’t give up on it despite what the others may say. If you are passionate about what you are doing, believe in it and yourself to accomplish it. Don’t let people tell you your ideas are not good just because they don’t agree with them.” – Sara Reynolds