December 4, 2005Her job: Electrical Engineer, Oregon State University
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I have been a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University since 1995. I teach classes in power electronics and power systems, and fundamental circuits and systems. I am also conducting research on power electronic converters, power quality, adjustable speed drive (ASD) ride-through and investigating and mitigating the adverse effects of applying ASDs to ac motors
Why did you choose engineering?
As long as I can remember, I have been interested in "how things work". I had a particular interest in how electronic gadgets worked and how I could fix them. I enjoyed taking things apart like calculators, computers, alarm clocks, televisions etc. Having an engineer for a father, and two older brothers studying engineering, helped me to realize that a career in electrical engineering would enable me to continue to learn about electronics, and to apply that knowledge to solving problems, and improving current technologies.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering with an emphasis in power systems and a minor in mathematics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, in 1990 and 1992, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering/power electronics from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1995.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
I really enjoy teaching, working with different industries to solve their problems through innovative research, and sharing that information with others.
Please tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I recently opened a new exciting chapter of our lives with the birth of our first child. In fun I tell my husband (who is a chemist) not to be disappointed if our daughter is only interested in electrical engineering.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I continue to love swimming, even after many years of competitive swimming. My husband and I just designed and built a new house, which includes the only known dual swim flume where we swim every day. We also enjoy flying and are both private pilots, in addition to being SCUBA certified.