Eileen Woods

Eileen Woods

Title
President
Organization
E.D.W. Associates,Inc.
Location
Silver Spring, MD, United States
Eileen Woods
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Answers by Ms Eileen Woods

Excellent questions. For things that move you are definitely into mechanical engineering. Even the controls and the software can be considered mechanical engineering. You won't need to specialize in something else as well as mechanical engineering in order to complete or control your machine. Just stay on track with ME. At the same time, think big. Don't cut yourself short by focusing too narrowly on robots. In a very short time, robots may be mass produced, throw-away products. Then what? Stay with Mechanical Engineering, specializing in Machine Design and specializing one step beyond, if you want----but don't get too narrow in your focus. The principles are the same for huge machines or nano machines. The very best of luck with your career. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have (going on 50 years) Eileen Duignan-Woods,P.E. President E.D.W. Associates,Inc.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered first. 1. Do you intend to stay in Malaysia for the foreseeable future? What are the opportunities and how are they different than in Europe or the US? 2. How far do you intend to take your education? Masters? PhD? 3. What specifically in mechanical engineering makes you passionate? Heat and energy? machines? 4. What factory setting are your friends referring to when they say that women won't be accepted? (factory settings are a minor part of the HVAC or building mechanical systems business.) Mechanical systems of buildings is a wonderful field. It encompasses all things mechanical---and requires a substantial understanding of heat transfer, thermodynamics, electrical, chemical, environmental, materials, and above all, an understanding of how buildings are put together. When I first decided to enter it, it was in its infancy. It had a future and it was exciting. That may have passed and the leadership may have been passed back to its original leaders; contractors and architects. The engineering is being done in national labs and on college campuses, and to a large extent within major manufacturers. It's an industry that is old (architecture goes back at least 2500 years---and its heating and cooling along with it.) Old industries are never a friendly place for women engineers because one needs to be scarce and in demand to get the opportunities. The corporate structures are old and will demonstrate opportunities for women in business and law, before they will engineering Your experience as an intern----and after---will give you good foundations for the building industry and similar industries. Just make sure that you learn worthwhile skills and technical understanding while you are there. If not-----don't stay there. Additionally, don't stay too long in any branch of a profession that gives you little excitement. What happens is that you get associated with that work and can't break into anything else. The mechanical systems of buildings can be mastered---with the right experience---in about 10-12 years. Your career will be at least 40 years. ( I just celebrated my 50th year). You need to think about going into management----but you will find that architects have an edge because of their relative importance on the building team. They will typically be in charge on the team. Whatever you decide, pursue something that is fun, exciting, and new. Something that suits your age group as far as a future is concerned. Just remember, it's not a JOB, it's a LIFEs WORK. Please feel free to contact me further with more questions. I'm delighted with your acquaintance. Sincerely Eileen Duignan-Woods, P.E. Always leave a company on very good terms. You will cross paths in the future.