Trailblazers / JDF Scholars

Aubrey

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Name: Aubrey
Alma mater: Tulane University
Area of undergraduate study: Biomedical engineering
Graduate school: Northwestern University (Illinois, USA), studying Engineering Design Innovation (EDI)

How did you get involved in engineering? What inspired you?
I always loved math and building things when I was younger. My elementary school enrichment program included segments building roller coasters and cameras. I also built a functioning pinhole camera out of paper for a project in middle school. But despite all of that, it wasn’t until my high school physics teacher told me to look into biomedical engineering that I learned exactly how my interest in helping people could incorporate my passion for building in a specific degree.

Why do you think there are fewer women than men studying engineering?
Despite everything our society has worked toward, there are still stereotypes that shape attitudes about women in science. It often starts when women are young girls, and it continues throughout their life. When women are continuously discouraged from science and math (or even subtly treated unequally), it makes it even harder for them to succeed.

What do you think we should be doing to get more women into engineering careers?
We should expose girls (and boys) to engineering at a young age. This could be anything from workshops in class to after school clubs. Young girls (and women) would also benefit from shadowing women engineers working on real-world engineering projects. Seeing successful women working the engineering exposes young women to a wide variety of engineering careers, and it also shows them it is possible for women to succeed in engineering.