Stephanie Meyen
Stephanie Meyen
Senior Optical Engineer, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (University of Arizona)
CA

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Biography
Hi. When I was young, I always wanted to become a researcher or explorer and I was fascinated by all sciences, but especially astronomy. So my dream was to work in a field that has something to do with space. In the end I became an optical engineer. My life took me into solar energy research in Germany and Spain first, where I worked with big parabolic mirrors. But moving to the USA made me switch completely to working with lasers that go into space. I even met two astronauts who visited our company. Now I switched to work again with mirrors at the only place in the world that can make gigantic mirrors for crazy telescope projects like the Giant Magellan Telescope. I am always amazed at what is possible when bright minds come together to create something. There is so much talk about girls and women being treated badly by men in STEM fields. But I want to point out, as the only female engineer in my company and having been surrounded by men my entire career, that I have mostly had positive experiences and that I feel respected and appreciated by my peers. If you have a passion, there is no reason why you should not or could not pursue it. I love my job, but I also make it a point to have enough time for my husband and two daughters and my many other interests like arts, making furniture, , hiking and outreach.
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Education
Master of Engineering in Physical Optics University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany
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 serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • 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 submit a one page description of “A Day in my Life” and answer questions from website visitors about the article for one month.
Latest Questions
  • Hypatia

    Added Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 5:00 AM

    I am a Mechanical engineer who has been working in the defence sector for the last two years. I am working towards professional recognition and chartership which has been my goal for as long as I can remember. I also really want to be a Mum and my husband and I are definitely ready however I am torn between work and home. I have lots of great female engineering role models at work but none of them have children so I can't get an opinion on the impacts of having children at different times in ...
    Answers 1
    Stephanie Meyen, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (University of Arizona)
    Answered Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 12:14 AM
    Hello Hypatia,
    
    This is a tough question and the answer is highly individual. Everybody makes different choices depending on what type of person they are and what is important to them. For me, having kids did not influence my career negatively. And I ...
    Read More
  • Tanner

    Added Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    I am extremely interested in creating and learning the science behind how things work and took an interest in the curriculum for mechanical engineering to be more precise. As a young girl, I never expected myself to take an interest in math or science, but as I took higher math classes and immersed myself more towards engineering topics, I realized that I am and want to be an engineer. I am a second year student in cc, transferring soon to a university and I recently joined a club. As many ...
    Answers 1
    Stephanie Meyen, Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (University of Arizona)
    Answered Friday, April 14, 2017 at 6:55 PM
    Tanner,
    
    First of all let me tell you that it is great that you already have a good idea of what type of career you want to pursue. It is important to have a goal. It helps you to stay on your path, even if things are difficult. With participating in ...
    Read More
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