Soph Davenberry, chief technology officer at National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC), was recently recognized as one of 20 Women to Watch by Engineered Systems Magazine.

More than 75 women were nominated for the annual recognition and the 20 women selected represent all levels of the HVAC industry, from entry level to engineers in training and company owners.

“This collection of women is outstanding,” said Mike Murphy, publisher of Engineered Systems, in an article on the publication’s website Jan. 1. “The achievements of these individuals speak volumes to the progress women are making in what was once viewed as a male-dominated field. We’re excited to place a spotlight on the accomplishments of these engineers and are looking forward to seeing how their careers develop from here on out.”

Davenberry joined NEMIC as its chief technology officer in early 2019. Before that time, she was the testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) manager at Hermanson Company in Kent, Washington, and she spent nearly a decade with Neudorfer Engineers as a lead systems field engineer. She started her sheet metal career as an apprentice in 1996 and began the study of TAB in 2004. She has been a member of Local 16 in Portland, Oregon, and maintains her current membership at Local 66 in Western Washington.

“I’d like to challenge anyone who has a habit of describing someone as a ‘female engineer,’ ‘female doctor,’ or ‘female mechanic’ to try labeling men the same way: ‘male engineer,’ ‘male doctor,’ or ‘male mechanic.’ If that seems silly, it is,” Davenberry said as an answer to the magazine’s question, “What advice do you have for prospective female engineers considering entering the field?”

“I am a sheet metal worker. I am an engineer. I am a professional in an industry that must change our demographics in order to thrive,” she continued. “Women are needed in all aspects of our industry. Focus on doing the work. Find peers through industry organizations, social networking and podcasts. Keep asking questions and model the respect you expect.”

The National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC) is a not-for-profit organization jointly funded by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) and SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. NEMIC identifies opportunities, seeking to create or expand employment for SMART members and programs that assist SMACNA contractors.

For more information on emerging market opportunities in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry, contact the National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC) at or call 800-458-6525.

20 Women to Watch by Engineered Systems Magazine, Hermanson Company, HVAC industry, Local 16, Local 66, Mike Murphy, National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC), Neudorfer Engineers, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA), SMART the International Association of Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Workers, Soph Davenberry, women
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