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!
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.