April 20, 2011Her job: Assistant Professor, College of Engineering Roorkee, Roorkee
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the College of Engineering Roorkee. I teach undergraduate students varios subjects of Computer Science. Apart from regular teaching activities, I am also actively involved in research. My research interests are in the area of network security, intrusion detection, performance modeling etc. I am eager to apply my knowledge to solving various practical problems we face in day to day life.
Why did you choose engineering?
Engineering is the application of science and technology to solve problems. I chose engineering since I feel engineering deals more with application oriented knowledge. Concepts taught in engineering could be converted to solutions for real life problems.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
I did my primary schooling till standard X from Auxilium Convent School Dum Dum Kolkata. I did my standards XI and XII from Loreto House, Middleton Row Kolkata. I completed my Bachelor of Technology from the University of Calcutta and Master of Technology from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
During the start of my career I was in industry. I was involved in the commissioning of a huge petrochemical complex in Eastern India. I was also actively involved in the Information Technology industry. I switched to academics and later I was taking teaching assignments for undergraduate students. Simulatenousy, I was also pursuing independant research.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
Every day brings novel challenges. Life as an engineer is more practical oriented. We engineers tend to apply our theoretical knowledge to solve real life problems. And when the solution to a problem is found successfully, thats the real pleasure of engineering.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
My biggest achievment was when I was awarded a woman scientist research project worth about 7 lakh Indian Rupees by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
The biggest challenge as an engineeri has been the proper balance of work and family life. There have been situations when career had to be compromised for the sake of family, but all throughout my family has been my biggest supporter. The most challenging career role was as an engineer during the commissioning phase of a major petrochemical complex in Eastern India. The complex was still under construction and being a girl engineer I had to face major hurdles. The nature of work was very hectic and strenuous, but that was a big learning experience.
Please tell us a little about your family.
My family consists of my husband who is an Assistant Professor in the department of Mathematics in IIT Roorkee and my 7 year old son studying in standard III. My extended family consists of my mother and sister who live in Kolkata and my in- laws who also are in Kolkata.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
My immediate short term goal is to finish my PhD work (which is currently in progress) and pursue my career as an active researcher. Long term goals involve setting up my own research group and being able to motivate and inspire girls to take up engineering and research as a profession.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
My dad was always the biggest motivator of my life. He was always supportive and encouraged me in all my endevaours. My mom was a working mother, and she was always there for me. After my marriage, my husband, being an active researcher himself, has been constantly motivating and inspiring me to do my best.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
Engineering is an adventure in itself. You never know when you stumble upon a new concept or idea. Engineering is fun and absolutely practical and is based on pure logic and common sense.
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I love gardening, watching my flowers bloom. I also enjoy cooking for family and friends and meeting people. I also intend to travel a lot and enjoy going to new places.