Engineering a career in robotics and flight
Years ago, in 1979, Ella Atkins was one of the first students to participate in a Johns Hopkins University SMPY program, which began in 1971. In this program, she would study mathematics. A grad student from Johns Hopkins was assigned to her as a mentor.
Proving that “Black girls do Engineering”
Math and science are what first drew Kara Branch to engineering. As a child, she always excelled in her coursework, but it surprised her how good she was at math and science. Branch said she knew she was going to do something great in these subjects when she met her high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Chapman.
Thinking outside the box
“I’ve been told that it’s rare to find an engineer who loves ballet, but it’s more common than you’d think — it just doesn’t fit the stereotype we were all raised with,” says Amanda French, co-founder and CEO of Emme, a healthcare company that is revolutionizing birth control.
A problem solver extraordinaire
When growing up, Caitlin Kalinowski built a lot of “nerdy little things.” When she was three, four or five, she would do a lot of physical prototyping of ideas that she had. For example, she had little machines that would keep water warm or hand warmers and nose warmers. Engineering, she noted, is just using science to solve problems, it’s an applied field. Science and math are important fields in their own right, but to engineers they’re also tools.
Engineering purposeful play
An engineer by training, Hester Anderiesen Le Riche found her passion during design projects that influence people’s behavior and contribute to their health. Today, she is the CEO and founder of Tover, and the creator of a pioneering cognitive stimulation system: the Tovertafel.
From math to engineering, with love
Maureen Lincoln, PE, has founded and served as CEO of companies throughout her career but engineering is where her heart lies. As the founder of Kerelaw Engineering, P.C., a Bronx-based product design and engineering agency, she is responsible for steering the company’s engineering team. She has been the Director of Engineering for the company since 2019, and previously served as the company’s Principal Engineer during its first years of business operation, beginning in 2016.
Engineering as a springboard to other opportunities
Sometimes, life directions can change with a chance conversation or unexpected opportunity. Danielle Lower said she fell into engineering in a completely unintentional way. When she enrolled in university her freshman year, Lower said she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
Pioneering a pathway to diversity
As one of the only women in her highly specialized field as a process design engineer, a South African immigrant, woman of color, and mother of four boys, Sibongile Manthata has had more than her fair share of challenges in her career. And her entre into engineering was more accidental than intentional.
Using engineering skills to make an impact
For many women engineers, it’s the impact they find they can have on worldwide problems that either attracts them into engineering, or keeps them in it. Dr. Karen Panetta found that IEEE gave her exposure to worldwide engineering challenges that still keeps her enthusiastic about the field.
Accepting your differences
One issue that frequently comes up for women who are educated as engineers is dealing with the idea that you are different; different from other women, different from male engineers, different from society’s expectations of you.
Tiger Mom earns her stripes
Amy Wang: world-class technologist with a B.E. from Tsinghua University, an M.S. and Ph.D. from Columbia, and Co-Founder and V.P. of Cogniac, a computer vision A.I. services provider, says she was “tricked” into engineering.
Filed Under: DIGITAL ISSUES