December 4, 2005Her job: Biomedical Engineer, University of Texas at Austin
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I am a professor in chemical and biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. As a university professor, I teach one course every semester to either graduate students or undergraduate students (usually 40 - 50 students per class). I also supervise a research group consisting of six graduate students and four undergraduate students.
Why did you choose engineering?
When I was in high school, I was always interested in math and science. I participated in the science fair for two years, and it was during this time that I realized my true passion for research. I chose engineering over the pure sciences because of the applied nature to the field. In other words, I want to be able to see the actual impact or product of my work. Engineering provides me with these tools.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
B.S. in chemical engineering from University of Texas at Austin Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
Engineering was a difficult discipline that required much self-discipline, and on many occasions, I thought about changing majors. However, with the support of my family and with a belief that I could do anything, I obtained my B.S. degree in 1988 with high honors.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I enjoy the lakes near Austin, gardening, home improvement projects, taking care of my three cats, and scuba diving in Florida and Cozumel (and soon, Hawaii).