26: Chemical Engineer with a great varied career – Murthy Munagavalasa

Murthy Munagavalasa has a PHD degree in Chemical Engineering which he earned while working at SC Johnson. What is interesting is that Murthy was scared of Chemistry but comfortable with Math and Physics. It turns out the Chemical Engineering is more about math than chemistry.

While working at SC Johnson, he has had the opportunity to work with many customers and his ah-ha moments have come when what he thought would be a great prototype ended up not going over very well, and prototypes that he thought were not that great got great acceptance by the customers. – Always involve your customers during product development!

Back when Murthy was heading off to college, he really wish he had a mentor to help him figure out what was important and what was not.

Some advice while in your career is to take on projects that are critical to the companies success and you should always spread positivity.

He recommends listening to Ted talks and you should write a personal mission statement and review regularly to make sure what you are doing aligns with what is important.

You can get a free book from Audible at www.stemonfirebook.com and can cancel within 30 days and keep the book of your choice.
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25: iOS App Developer and Electrical Engineer – Tom Ganley

Tom Ganley earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State and a masters in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and recently completed an iOS app development course at DevMountain. He is currently a Senior iOS app developer at Move, Inc.

While a 4 year undergraduate degree is not required, you could go from high school to a coding bootcamp, Tom feels that the 4 year degree is very valuable.

He likes to start his day reading blogs to learn something new as technology is every changing. From his point of view, the future is in augmented reality, overlaying images on top of live images.

To launch into college successfully, he highly recommends truly understanding the concepts it will make future courses much easier that continue to build on the early concepts.

Best advice? You don’t need to be an expert in everything, ask questions in the areas you are not the expert in.

Favorite app is “Medium” and book is “Think Like a Freak”

You can get a free book from Audible at www.stemonfirebook.com and can cancel within 30 days and keep the book of your choice.
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24: Chemical Engineer in Manufacturing – Jennifer Morikawa

Jennifer Morikawa earned a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering from Purdue University. She currently works at General Motors (GM) in Manufacturing.

She chose Chemical Engineering over a Chemistry degree as she wanted to see things being manufactured and created. Being in the production area, she gets to interact with many people and is always working with new technology.

An Ah-ha moment she had was when she heard that work life balance is a myth it is really work life integration. Some advice for students starting out in college is to get a solid foot hold that first semester and then start getting involved with activities and take on some leadership roles.

If you are in high school or younger you get get involved with SWE Next.

Also remember, you CAN have it all, just not all at once!
Engineering needs all types, get those experiences and share them with the world.

A good book is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Jennifer also recommends to utilize Get Abstract.

you can get free from Audible at www.stemonfirebook.com and can cancel within 30 days and keep the book of your choice.
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23: PHD Mechanical Engineering and New Product Manager – Aroon Viswanathan

Aroon Viswanathan has a PHD in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is currently a Manager of New Product Development at Generac.

He started out working in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) where you can simulate very complex models like explosions and fluid flow for aircraft design. Outside of the traditional mechanical design some other fields of mechanical engineering are Materials Engineering and Fluid Mechanics.

What he likes about engineering is if you have an idea, you can realize that idea, if that sounds interesting to you then engineering could be a great path for you. He believes learning about programming is important, not to the level of a Computer Engineer or Software Engineer but you need to understand the concepts of what it is capable of as it will be controlling your mechanical system.

In new product development, you need to understand what your customer really wants so you design a product that will be valuable in the market place.

An ah-ha moment? When he was introduced to SWOT analysis which is your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and recommends you perform one on yourself.

Best piece of advice: Don’t limit yourself.

A phone app is Scholly to help find scholarships for college.

Book recommendation is “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey which you can get free from Audible at www.stemonfirebook.com
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22: PHD Physics Student Doing Research with Graphene – Kathryn McGill

Kathryn McGill is a PHD student at Cornell University and currently doing research in Condensed Matter (a liquid or solid) vs Particle Physic. She has been focusing on graphene which is a 1 atom thick conductive material.

Depending on the phase of the research she will either be working in a clean room wearing a bunny suit, building up the experimental apparatus and taking data, or writing the results in a research paper.

She is really excited about teaching and nano-submarines which can be deployed in your bloodstream – still a work in progress.

Her best piece of advice is to get a good night sleep, that is so important and also to be self aware/mindfulness.

A phone app to help gamify your task list and goals is Habitica.

Book recommendation is Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley

Don’t forget to get a free audio book of your choosing from Audible at www.stemonfirebook.com
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