September 19, 2007Her job: Board Chair and CEO, AnthroTronix, Inc.
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
AnthroTronix is a human factors and biomedical engineering research company. Our focus is to empower people to accomplish their goals using technology - from computer access devices for children with disabilities to robot controllers for soldiers.
Why did you choose engineering?
I chose engineering because I thought technology was cool - especially robotics and virtual reality! I was also very interested in "technology transfer" or how high tech developed for space and military applications could be used for medical applications.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biopsychology and Mathematics from Swarthmore College, and a Master's Degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I also attended the International Space University in Japan and am a Licensed Professional Engineer.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
As an engineering research company, we get to work on many types of design problems. I work with a team of mechanical, software, and biomedical engineers developing robotic and computer-based technology to solve problems in the medical rehabilitation, defense, and education research areas.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
Prior to starting AnthroTronix, I was a professor of biomedical engineering and worked closely with the National Rehabilitation Hospital. I was taken aback at the lack of technology for children with disabilities. To meet that need I founded a subsidiary company to AnthroTronix called AT KidSystems which created Cosmo’s Learning Systems™ – an alternative computer interface and educational software for children with disabilities.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I enjoy spending time with my husband and children. We enjoy camping, hiking, and traveling and spending time at home with our 2 dogs and 3 cats! We are also involved in the Interracial Family Circle – a support network for interracial families.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
Many people over the years who encouraged me to be proud of standing out and being different. As a woman in engineering, you have to be comfortable with both of these things!
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Don't worry about what you want to BE - pursue your interests and find cool things to DO!