WOMEN in ENGINEERING DAY
„Save the date” is a series of articles that have been written to celebrate various unusual holidays. The authors of the presented materials are students, doctoral students and employees of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Silesia.
23 June is celebrated as International Women in Engineering Day.
Every year more and more female students enrol in our studies. It used to be unthinkable, because studying science and technology was considered “a male line of studies”. In 2014, a campaign was launched in the UK to promote the study of engineering among women: International Women in Engineering Day.
There are many beautiful and smart women in our ranks who belong to a group of engineers. We have asked some of them why they chose that particular career path. We encourage you to get acquainted with the stories of their life choices.
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ŻANETA GARCZYK, MSc Eng.
Assistant, winner of Diamond Grant, Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Why did I choose engineering? I had a passion for science and technology from an early age. I kept analysing all the information, asking “why?” and “how?” and then discovering the answers. At the same time, I was also interested in biology and medicine. That’s why, when I was in high school, I chose a biology and chemistry major. Afterwards, when choosing a degree programme at university, I decided to go for Biomedical Engineering. The aim of this programme is to train engineers who are familiar with issues involving the technical support of medicine. Therefore, in addition to medical and biological knowledge, technical skills are also important. Choosing to study such a highly interdisciplinary programme turned out to be the right choice for me.
After completing my 1st and 2nd cycle studies, I decided to continue my education by pursuing a doctoral degree, and at the same time I started working as an academic teacher. I am thus an engineer, a scientist, and a teacher. I really enjoy my work, which is based on constant development. Every day is different, and there is no such thing as a ‘routine’. What I also like about my profession is that we cooperate with universities and scientific institutions, also from abroad, which keeps my work interesting and allows me to expand my knowledge every day. This gives me immense satisfaction!
Why do I think Biomedical Engineering is also a good choice for women? There are many reasons. Firstly, it is an interesting and rapidly developing field of science and, as a result, it has great prospects for future growth. Innovation is inherent in engineering degree programmes, so they encourage creativity and bold decision-making. It is difficult to imagine modern medicine without biomedical engineering, so it is definitely a discipline of the future.
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OLIWIA JANUS, Eng.
Applied Computer and Information Sciences graduate, student of Micro and Nanotechnology, Chairperson of the Committee for Student Organizations, Student Government of the University of Silesia
Why did I become an engineer? Because having such a title before my name sounds good…
But on a more serious note, I am a very interdisciplinary person and I also wanted to become a doctor (surgeon). In the last year of high school, however, I changed my mind and, without giving it much thought, I applied for Computer Science.
Do I regret it? Absolutely not. I met a lot of great people, I developed a lot, and I learnt things that I never even dreamt of. I would not change it for anything else! I went through a school of life that I will always remember.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.
Also, computer science is now right beside me at all times and although it doesn’t determine my life, it has shown how many things can be connected with it.
Being an engineer is not just about the title, it is an amazing opportunity to grow in practically any direction. Today I am even combining it with medicine.
The most important thing is not to lose yourself, but to develop and take advantage of the opportunities the world offers. And being a woman engineer puts the world at our feet.
So always look on the bright side of life!
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KAROLINA JURKIEWICZ, PhD, Eng.
Assistant Professor, Institute of Physics of the University of Silesia
Why did I choose engineering?
When choosing a field of study, I chose engineering because I wanted to develop hard technical skills. I knew that obtaining an engineering degree would help me get my dream job in the future. At first, I thought that my career path would be related to data analysis (e.g. financial data analysis) or programming. However, in my final years of studies in technical physics, I decided that I would like to work as a scientist.
I am currently conducting interdisciplinary research on the atomic structure of materials involving an interplay of physics, chemistry, and materials engineering. This is where I apply the knowledge and diverse skills I acquired during my studies. When it comes to engineering, a lot of classes are taught in such a way as to allow students to deal with real-life problems. They have the opportunity to operate specialized research apparatus, design tools and device prototypes, take measurements, synthesize materials, and in general, carry out various projects that can result in breakthrough discoveries, find application in industrial solutions, be the basis for technological development, and benefit society as a whole.
I believe that choosing engineering allows you to find many career opportunities, and obtaining an Engineer’s degree serves as a confirmation of acquiring a wide range of analytical skills and gives you confidence that you will always be able to find a solution to any problem.
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SONIA KOTOWICZ, PhD Eng.
Assistant Professor, Institute of Chemistry
Why did I choose engineering? In primary school, when asked “What do you want to be in the future?” I answered – a scientist, and the mix between a scientist and an engineer turned out to be a perfect combination.
As a child, I always carefully observed any repairs of household appliances and electronic devices, driven by the desire to understand how they worked. As the years went by, I found myself at home disassembling broken appliances and looking for ways to fix them. And honestly? I still do it. My love of hands-on work and solving technical problems contributed to my choice of degree programme and subsequent development as a scientist.
Currently, as an employee of the Institute of Chemistry, I combine my scientific work with a passion for engineering, looking for innovative solutions in organic electronics.
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IZABELA MATUŁA, MSc Eng.
Assistant, Institute of Materials Engineering
Why did I choose engineering? My adventure with engineering sciences started when I studied Biomedical Engineering, which made me fascinated with the subject of artificial organs.
Why such a choice? A bit by chance, but also because I was convinced that an engineer can change the world and have a real impact on the development of technology and science.
I went on to study Materials Science and Engineering and it totally stole my heart and mind. I am fascinated by how the arrangement of atoms, their type, the chemical composition of a material, its microstructure, and many other aspects affect every object surrounding us.
Currently, I am completing my doctoral thesis on materials for long-term bone implants. Taking inspiration from natural human bones, which are made up of two zones: trabecular bone and cortical bone, I am trying to create similar materials to best match the structure and properties of human bones. My dream is to have a real impact on the quality of life of people who use various types of implants. My research is carried out within the project entitled ‘New porous titanium alloys for medical applications with improved corrosion resistance produced by mechanical alloying’ (2016/23/N/ST8/03809) financed by the National Science Centre.
Why am I not planning on giving up? Because every day brings new engineering challenges and every day I have the opportunity to learn something new.