We’d like to introduce you to one of our rock star engineers, Aparna Vaidyanathan – a senior technologist, mother of two beautiful school age girls, a singer and a GE Girls volunteer. Last year, Aparna spent a week collaborating with GE Girls on STEM projects at Rice University in Texas.

Let’s find out what got Aparna into STEM and why she thinks you should too!

Aparna

GE Girls: Hi Aparna, so what made you choose a career in STEM?

Aparna: I always loved math and science and my dream was to become the first female engineer in my extended family and friends.

After 10th grade in 1988 I was selected as a finalist for the National Talent in Science Scholarship and was interviewed by the Dean of Physics in the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore in India.

Back then I wish there were camps to help promote STEM. I was always interested in Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy.  I also loved to go to science museums and planetariums as a child.

GE Girls: What did you major in? What kind of classes did you take in addition to regular school?

Aparna: I graduated with honors and distinction in Electronics and Communications engineering from University of Mysore, India in 1994. I also took computer programming courses in C, C++ and Java in addition to regular classes. This enabled me to write call handling programs for my first job as a software design engineer for GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) mobile phones.

GE Girls: What do you do on a daily basis?

Aparna: I work as a Senior Engineer for Dresser Natural Gas Meters division of Baker Hughes GE, that makes commercial and residential natural gas meters.

I work on design of electronics, embedded firmware, software and testing.

GE Girls: What is your favorite part of your job? 

Aparna: My favorite part of the job is being a part of state of the art technologies that can be used in collaboration with gas metering and bringing new solutions to our customers. Right now, I’m working on a communications solution for a customer who wants cloud connectivity from their natural gas meters to their back office for billing.

GE Girls: What would you tell your 14-year-old self?

Aparna: I’d tell my 14-year-old self to be curious, creative and have an interest in STEM as it widens your knowledge on how things work around you.

GE Girls: Aparna, we enjoyed interviewing you. Engineers like you inspire GE Girls to get into STEM fields and experience the fun and challenge.