Sandra Cruz-Pol
Dr Sandra Cruz-Pol
Univ. of Puerto Rico, Professor
Mayaguez, PR

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Close Up
  • What I Do
    I teach classes such as antenna design and electromagnetics and also advise graduate students on research in which we use radars to study clouds, rain and other natural phenomena. The main reason is to be able to understand and model them better, so that we can have better forecasts and climate prediction.
  • Why Engineering?
    Because I love math and science. I loved the challenge they provide, of having to find a solution to a problem - it's like solving a puzzle. In addition, I wanted to be able to use the knowledge of science and math for new things that could help many people.
  • School Days
    I have a bachelors degree from University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, a masters degree from University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. from Penn State University, all in Electrical Engineering.
  • My Day At Work
    I get to work with students, advise them what to do, explain to them complex subjects in an easy way so that they can understand them and use them for solving a problem.
  • Best Part
    Being able to improve people's lives. I work with the design of a network of radars that will improve forecasting of hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and the like. It feels good.
  • Proud Moments
    The satisfaction you get when you see something, knowing you can make it better, and then doing it! Engineers are always improving things, whether it's a radar, a cell phone, or a computer program. I am also very glad to involve my students in global issues awareness such as participating in fund raising for UNICEF.
  • My Family
    I have two smart daughters, 15- and 18-years old, and a very cooperative husband who is also an engineer. My children have been doing experiments with me since they were very young. Each of them has designed a web page of their own; they have great potential to be whatever they want to be. Now my older daughter is also studying engineering.
  • Dreams and Goals
    I would like to complete the radar project in which I'm involved now. I would like to help increase the number of women studying engineering and science, and help educate society about equal rights for women and children. I believe a small measure in the way we raise children can make a huge impact on their human development and future behavior. I will like to help people learn ways to help with our climate problems and will like fair distribution of resources in the world.
  • Inspiration
    My father - he was very supportive of his daughters studying careers normally considered "men only."
  • Want to be an Engineer?
    Don't give up, don't be afraid of making mistakes or taking risks, and speak up. Don't be shy to show your talents and intelligence.
  • Additional Thoughts
    Being in a male-dominated field makes people create some stereotypes in their heads of what a smart engineer looks like. :) I look very feminine, and know it's not a contradiction, but for some people it is. They expect to see the nerd image shown in popular media. So I am glad to show what the reality is, and I have had to prove myself to others sometimes. But the good thing is that you stand out for being a women, so if you do a good job everybody will remember. Now my older daughter is also studying engineering.
  • Hobbies
    I love to do acrylic painting, especially portraits. I also partake in art and crafts, calligraphy, interior decoration, swimming, gardening, baking desserts, and dancing modern dance.
Latest Questions
  • SRS asked Sandra Cruz-Pol, Professor

    Added Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Hi, I'm going to start my 2nd year in Electronic Engineering. I've been getting good grades so far, but being a woman in a male-dominated field, makes me feel a little intimidated. It's like many people already know so much before starting the course and many of the guys have done internships before and during summer - in their very first year! I love what I'm studying and I know that there are many options out there. Yet, recently when a certain experimental project failed to work, I felt ...
    Related to Engineering Skills, Opportunities/Challenges for Women, Self Doubt, Special fields and Interdisciplinary, Working with People
    Answers 2
    Sandra Cruz-Pol, Professor
    Answered Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM
    My answer would be that this is a typical feeling for woman (we are perfectionist and very harsh judges for ourselves); you think everybody else knows more than you do or has more experience than you. This may not be necessarily true of ALL your ...Read More
    Terita Norton, The Aerospace Corporation
    Answered Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM
    Dear SRS, There are times when I still get a little intimidated when I walk into a technical meeting and I'm the only female. I've learned however to be confident in my own technical ability. I've also realized that as a women I am able to bring a ...Read More
  • Maria, Texas, USA asked Sandra Cruz-Pol, Professor

    Added Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    Hello, My name is Maria. I hope you can help me with my doubts. I got my degree as Electrical Engineer, major in Telecommunications in Ecuador, South America, 5 years ago, and I want to study a master's degree in USA. I can't decide between a Master in Science in Electrical Engineering or a Master in Engineering Managment, very different options, because I'm worried that, because my BSEE is from South America, I can't find a good job in USA with an American masters. Which could be my best ...
    Related to Choosing a School, Electrical, Graduate School
    Answers 1
    Sandra Cruz-Pol, Professor
    Answered Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    You can do either one. You should choose whatever you like the most. You can find a job in the US either way if you perform well. I have had many students from Latin America. They come to the Univ. of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez because we speak mostly ...

    Read More
  • Nicole, Austin

    Added Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Hi, I am currently looking to enter into the Engineer field after 8 years of obtaining a B.S in Computer Engineering. I have been a teacher for six years and now I would like to fulfill my life long dreams. People tell me that I am too old (32) to switch careers. Most advice i have received is to move up in education. I also have a Masters in Education. Early in my college life I was told by a professor to switch to Electrical Engineering but due to not having a mentor to guide my ...
    Answers 1
    Sandra Cruz-Pol, Professor
    Answered Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 11:20 PM
    I would definitely say Follow your Dreams!  You have potential and the right reason to pursue an Engineering Field. I did my PhD with two kids, I was the oldest of all grad students, 32 yrs.old, and also the first to graduate among the group! Because you ...
    Read More
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