Meet Ansley Alexander: Pioneering New Paths in the Pipeline Engineering Industry!

Early Life and Education

Raised by educators in Dickinson, TX, a small town about 40 miles south of Houston, Alexander’s interest in STEM was piqued during her high school years. Even though she didn’t know about pipeline infrastructure at first, she did know a medical profession was not for her. As she explored alternative STEM possibilities, a mentor recommended she apply for an engineering internship. Throughout her career trajectory, many mentors have encouraged Alexander and guided her—these interactions fueled her desire to make a difference through her job.

A group of BP engineers visited her school for a panel in 2007. The passion of the entire panel of engineers, especially the female environmental engineer’s care and role in protecting the environment, deeply inspired Alexander.

She was also influenced by a female civil engineer from TEXDOT, whose work she admired. These encounters underscore the value of having role models in her desired field who looked like her, and interactions like these fueled her desire to make a difference through her job.

Choosing a Path

Surprised by the number of women she saw in the industry, Alexander realized the potential for her own career in the field. She found the diversity of career paths available in the Natural Gas Pipeline Industry particularly exciting.

Ansley reiterates that there are different paths to different careers. While she is currently a Pipeline Integrity Manager of Projects, a niche position that fits her well, Ansley Alexander’s career progression has been marked by multiple roles that have shaped her expertise in the field.

Career in Pipeline Engineering

Today, Alexander holds the position of Pipeline Integrity Manager of Projects. She has made significant contributions to the industry and to the world around her, working on major projects and having a tangible impact on infrastructure development.

In the field of pipeline integrity, it’s crucial to note the stringent regulations and the significant impacts that decisions made within the industry can have on people’s lives. This field requires dedicated individuals who are aware of the magnitude of their work.

Alexander loves pipeline integrity and has even created computation tools and Excel spreadsheets containing engineering formulas and macros for height stress calculations and welding rods. She also developed tools for managing pipeline integrity, including pigs corrosion growth rates and a pig speed calculation spreadsheet.

She has held various engineering positions that have allowed her to make significant contributions to the industry, such as positions including Engineer 2, where her main tasks were related to asset integrity. Ansley was responsible for all pigging, recoat, and anomaly digs in the Atlanta Division, which covers Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. In a different role as an Operations Technical Support Engineer, Alexander was involved in a range of projects including Meter Station Design, Meter Station Upgrades, Facility Abandonment, and Compressor Station Support.

As a black, female engineer, Ansley Alexander stands as an innovative force, showing what is possible when passion meets profession. To any student who is considering a career in STEM, Alexander encourages the act of exploring the careers available to find a niche you love. By fully immersing yourself in it, like she did, you can truly find a way to make a difference within the industry.

Advocacy and Mentorship

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ansley has been an advocate for diversity and inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. She actively promotes representation in engineering through formal programs as well as informal mentoring initiatives. Ansley Alexander’s personal experiences and journey, as an African American woman thriving in the predominantly male field of pipeline engineering, serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement for individuals who are underrepresented in the industry.

Alexander constantly appreciates the value of a supportive network and is committed to being part of it. She mentors others both formally and informally and encourages those unfamiliar with the field to connect with an engineer.

In her own words, Alexander says, “I didn’t know any engineers growing up, and I may not fit the look of what an engineer looks like… I was able to meet so many amazing people that helped me for my career.” Her key takeaway for others is, “if you have your mind set on something, go seek out people to support you.”

Opportunities for Women in STEM

Alexander highlights the untapped opportunities for women in STEM. While a college education holds value, it’s not the only pathway to a successful career in STEM. Many roles require different types of certification or even two-year degrees, which provides incredible opportunities. Alexander encourages everyone to seek out STEM resources. She pointed out that most, if not all, STEM jobs have organizations dedicated to supporting women in their fields. Joining STEM women’s organizations increases exposure to opportunities and also promotes diversity in roles typically dominated by a certain demographic. For example, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) organizes beneficial camps and workshops. 

A group she gives major credit for her success? The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), where she was part of a retention program called Promise. As the first engineering student in her family, Alexander did face academic hurdles, but she quickly demonstrated resilience and determination to succeed. NSBE’s mission and vision resonated with her, and she appreciated their commitment to supporting their members even in challenging times.

Alexander’s story is proof that there are different paths to different careers, and that passion and support from your community can lead to success.

Facing Challenges: Balancing Motherhood and Career

Ansley Alexander’s story as a black woman working as a pipeline engineer shows why it’s important to keep going and not give up. However, Ansley’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. As a mother, she acknowledges the difficulties of balancing work and family life. The field can be demanding, requiring availability at all times of the day (and night!) Despite this, Ansley has proven that it’s possible to thrive in this industry while being a dedicated mother.


With a clear vision for her career and industry, Ansley continues to set new goals and identify areas for potential growth and advancement. She acknowledges the ongoing challenges in the field, particularly for mothers and African American engineers, and advocates for equal opportunities.