Her job: Research, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
As a part of my research, I am currently engaged in developing a security framework for networks under attacks . The framework is based on honeypots, the latest technology in information security which goes beyond classical intrusion detection systems.
Why did you choose engineering?
Engineering is a field where your ideas materialize. I closely observed phenominal growth in technology during my early childhood and during school, and I used to be fused with enthusiasm getting to know real world examples when I realized anything that one can imagine can be engineered !!! Coupled with this were the concepts of basic sciences that I sometimes wondered could be applied so appropriately to engineer concepts. These factors put together, triggered my interests to take up engineering.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. from Indian Institue of Technology. Before that I pursued my M. Tech from Indian Institute from Technology. I did my B.Tech from U.P. Technical University, Lucknow.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
My work is composed of multifarious activities. Security of computer networks is of immence importance , as of today. Primarily , I develop techniques and algorithms to be implemented in a network to make the networks more secure. I test my techniques by first simulating them on simulator and then testing them with real world attack data. I gather attack data using honeypot sensors and also experimenting with classical data on the Internet helps me validate techniques. Communicating my work and getting it published in national and international conferences and journals had been my regular practice. This helps me interact with pioneers in my subject and share my ideas and broaden my research network.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
Engineering has taught me how to learn.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
I could successfully develop a honeypot framework which replaced the point security and made it distributed over various attack phases. The accomplishment of project on genetic diagnosis of Thalassemia using sequencing which was selected in National level finals at Microsoft Imaginecup and represented India. Best Student Engineer Award 2004 during under graduate studies. Three gold medals during undergraduate studies Google India Women in Engineering award 2009. First prize in National level R&D competition organized by Govt. of India
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
In pursuit of an engineering career, main challenge is to remain focused. I used to set up deadlines for myself and meet them to remain focused on my work. Managing hectic routine and taking out time for relaxaton with the pressure of work and exams , meditation helped me a lot. Besides hard work and persiverence, creativity and imagination are eually important and application of knowledge in day to day activities builds up the actual understanding.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I belong to a family of doctors. My father is an E.N.T surgeon and my mother is an opthalmologist running private nursing home in Bareilly. My younger brother is an Engineer and working with International Software Consulting firm.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
In my short term, as I complete my doctoral, I wish to join an organization and work on projects where I rigurously use and increase my skills and knowledge and contribute qualitatively towards research. Joining and R&D sector or post doctoral experience are the priorities. I also want to remain in academics and take up teaching as a profeesion Hence 10 years down the line I see myself as a successful researcher and playing the role of good teacher, instructor and supervisor .
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
The freedom of chioce and motivation of parents has the greatest influence in my life of choices. For every small or big decision, the riguruos brainstorming on pros and cons with my parents followed by leaving the ultimate decision on me helped me decide in the best interest of myself. I sincerely admire my supervisor and teachers who closely observed me, envisiged my research interests and motivated me to bring out the best in me.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Engineering is an exiting field that cannot be taught in class but teaches you how to learn. Consider yourself not as student of technology but as budding technologists and engineers !!! Think beyond thoughts, be creative and then engineer it .. its easy !!!
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I like to direct movies. Lately , a 20 min docudrama film named New Pinch on the awareness of Thalassemia was released by National Thalassemia Welfare Society, India , shot under my direction in IIT campus. My hobbies include reading magazines like reader's digest, novel's like Dan Brown's, experimenting with cooking and driving. Music cannot be ruled out from my life!