Nandika D'Souza

Dr Nandika D'Souza

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, University of North Texas
Denton, TX

Engineers!

Stephanie Lewis
Florence Tela
Belinda Wadeson
Moyra J. McDill
Jodie Lutkenhaus
Yasmin Jawad
Nita Patel
Ying-Ja Chen
Soha Jawabreh
Dakshayani Jangamshetti
Manasa Gavini
Victoria Cummings
Close Up
  • What I Do
    I have three responsibilities to teach, research and serve the scientific community through service activities. I enjoy the mix of the three parts a lot. Teaching is a wonderful way to learn and even if I have taught a class before, Mechanical and Materials Engineering is a creative degree that allows for continued growth. I am very excited about working on engineering new solutions. On some days it is surgical meshes that can mimic tissue or bone in mechanical response, on others it is bioproducts that can lower the carbon footprint without sacrificing functionality of their synthetic alternative. I like integrating my research into the classroom and encouraging people to live to their potential. Thus I see my three responsibilities as integrative rather than separate.
  • Why Engineering?
    I would answer this by saying I went into Engineering at the suggestion of my mother but REMAINED in engineering because I found that it brought together creativity with a quantifiable advantage. I would look at roofs and trusses and bridges completely differently after my first semester which had a course - STATICS.
  • School Days
    I did my undergraduate in Pune a city near Bombay (Mumbai, India). I did a senior project with an industry developing a biorenewable composite together with the National Chemical Laboratory. That led me to research as a career and I went to Auburn Alabama where my admission to mechanical engineering was associated with a new materials program. I wanted to do mechanical engineering with a focus and so went to Texas A&M to do my doctorate.
  • My Day At Work
    Problem solving is a very positive aspect of my work. I enjoy mulling over what solutions are possible and honing in on one. I like the process of discovery and communicating it. I like being hands on and love to look at plots and graphs in new ways. I enjoy reading new areas.
  • Best Part
    Figuring things out and getting the basic knowledge from which to do more than we are taught.
  • Proud Moments
    Well, picking a tenure track career is an important aspect of what I am happy I did. There was significant pressure for me to pick a lecturer track from my personal life and I am happy I took the more challenging route but even happier I pulled it off.
  • Challenges
    Making sure multiple #1 priorities get attended to. I am not sure I completely handle it yet but I feel that it is a way of life I am ready for.
  • My Family
    I have a daughter (12) and a son (9). They are a funny pair and keep me laughing. I like having a lighthearted relationship with them and enjoy all the things that I get into through them. As I play baseball and learn Pokemon, I find equal delight as I do with learning about mechanics and materials....
  • Dreams and Goals
    My short term goals are to keep family first and career on track. In the long term, as my children get older and leave for college, I anticipate an increased focus on work and hope to take a sabbatical and explore new collaborations.
  • Inspiration
    My mother, who while someone who never finished college, was an amazing success in the family + work balance. My uncle who responded to my decision to go into creative writing with a mild "hmm, you could be an engineer". A Dad of a friend who said "Communicate with technical language and assurance so that people buy into the depth of what you are saying". Places like EngineerGirl! have influenced me a lot. I like listening to people who have done and surmounted what appear as challenges to me. In summary I seek my heroes in daily interactions and appreciate the humanness of personal stories.
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Explore engineering beyond any of the stereotypical ways it is described. Areas such as robotics, materials, biomedical, environmental put engineering in a new light. That being said, I am partial to doing core areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and chemical as undergraduate degrees and doing electives and senior projects in the other jazzy programs.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Problem solving is a very positive aspect of my work. I enjoy mulling over what solutions are possible and honing in on one.
  • Hobbies
    Hmm. I love reading. I just read The Secret Life of Bees. I typically unwind after a major deadline with a book. I am very fortunate that the "staff choices" at my local public library are so wonderful because I tend to pick a few and have been enjoying them. I love exploring new music and cooking something I am unfamiliar with. I share music and cooking with my kids. I love to exercise and this seems to be a key to keeping my energy up to what needs to get done.
Biography
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.
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Education
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
Volunteer Opportunities
  • 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.
  • I am willing to answer written interview questions to be posted on the EngineerGirl website.
  • I am willing to conduct a video interview with an interested student for posting on the website.