College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE Alum Spotlight: Sarah Sievertsen – writing for engineers, starting at ISU

Headshot of Sarah Sievertsen
Headshot of Sarah Sievertsen

Sarah Sievertsen graduated from Iowa State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Systems Technology (AST). Originally from northwest Alabama, Sievertsen had a passion for manure management and air quality in high school. She now works for GEA North America as a technical writer.  


Time at ISU  

Sievertsen started her journey at ISU in agricultural engineering but truly found her place in the AST major. During this transition, she found that AST came more naturally for her, and she really enjoyed the classes. Being at ISU in the AST major allowed her to take classes covering everything from agriculture and the environment to even communications classes. “Iowa State has you dive into other disciplines. Students are exposed to different aspects of the industry, and this is really helpful when entering the industry,” Sievertsen said.  

While at Iowa State, Sievertsen also had hands-on opportunities to apply what she was learning in her classes. During her undergraduate career, she participated in undergraduate research studying air emissions and manure management. Another summer, she interned with her current company. In this position, she took manure samples and created a database from it.  


Career in Technical Writing  

After graduating, Sievertsen worked for Puck Custom Enterprises. In this position, she wrote user manuals for manure application equipment. “This position helped me get my foot in the door with technical writing. Working at Puck helped build my foundation and helped me put myself in the operator’s shoes,” Sievertsen said. 

Sievertsen now works for GEA North America as a Technical Writer. In this position, she writes service manuals and user manuals for different equipment. She uses her experiences with equipment, past information, and collaboration to create the best and most cohesive information for clients to utilize.  

This job also requires a lot of communication. With colleagues spread across the U.S. and the GEA headquarters in Germany, Sievertsen is constantly in contact with her team. “On any given day, I gather information on what they know about the equipment and what they have experienced in the field. I want to make sure what I am writing is realistic and an accurate representation of what to do while operating the equipment,” Sievertsen said.  

Sievertsen has expanded and applied her education in innovative ways, starting her journey at ISU.