Nandika D'Souza

Nandika D'Souza

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies
University of North Texas
Denton, TX, United States
Nandika D'Souza
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I am a Regents Professor of the University with a joint appointment in Mechanical and Energy Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. I am also the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. I did my Bachelors in Polymer Engineering, MS in Materials Engineering and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. I work on engineering composites, foams and coatings for reliability and multifunctional performance. A thought I live by: Gender and cultural differences are positive contributions to everything we do. Rather than accept, question limits by yourself and others on your abilities.
Ph.D. Texas A&M University, Mechanical Eng 1994 M.S. Auburn University, Materials Program, Mech Eng. 1991 B. E. University of Pune (Maharashtra Institute of Technology), Polymer Engg 1988
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Dr Nandika D'Souza

I know several mechanical engineers working in environmental fields and one very senior person who started a biomedical program had a degree in mechanical engineering. So, I think mechanical engineering offers you an opportunity to go into either environmental or biomedical projects. You may find it better to get into fluid mechanics if your inclination is towards environmental or into mechanics of materials and advanced mechanics of materials to get into biomechanics. I personally am inclined to recommend mechanical engineering or electrical engineering over biomedical for an undergraduate for people wanting to do biomechanics or bioinstrumentation because mechanical and electrical cover the core that you can apply in any field of biomechanical. One question to ask yourself is how much you liked statics and mechanics of materials. That will help you decide fluid mechanics or solid mechanics (should that be the choice)

Wow….this is the essence of what most women engineers feel and have to be convinced to join engineering. Here is a story I will relate to you from an undergraduate advisor. She said there are some new students who arrive and will timidly approach her with course requests indicating that they are not too sure they can make it. Then she will glance at their prior math and science performance and find they are doing well. Then there are others who walk in with a strut and sit down and announce the courses and she will find that they don’t have an amazing record. The moral of this story is this:

Don’t be fooled by the apparent glibness or amazement portrayed in any recruiting videos or by colleagues (it does not really indicate whether or not you are as good or not)
The older you get question any limit that you or others impose on you (knowingly or unconsciously). Go for it. There is something certain to spark your interest and you will be excited and feel totally confident. Programs typically offer so much variety that during the senior years (and these comprise most of the videographers stories) students take electives in areas that get them soooo excited that it comes across.
The important thing A LOT of women engineers around campus will offer in word or deed or example is that you transition from the kid who appears diffident who thinks they are not as good to the graduate who speaks confidently and realizes they are as good or better than most in some area or the other. That transition will happen. Just let it.

Hope this helps.
Nandika D’Souza