Dr. Shweta Agarwala is a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Aarhus University in Denmark and is the Head of the ‘Printed Electronics Technology’ Laboratory.
Dr. Shweta has a B-Tech in electronics and communication engineering from M.J.P Rohilkhand University, India. She later moved to Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to pursue her MSc. in electrical and electronics engineering. She went on to get a PhD degree in electronics and computer engineering from the National University of Singapore. She currently works as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Aarhus University in Denmark and is head of the ‘Printed Electronics Technology’ laboratory. She works in the field of 'Printed electronics', where the idea is to create next-generation electronics that is printed on any surface like text. No hard chips, no dangling wires and no rectangular geometry. Some of the exciting projects Dr. Shweta is working on is making new electronic materials that are biodegradable, and bioresorbable (absorbed by the human body), smart electronic skin tattoos, flexible electronics etc.
STEM to Dr. Shweta means “the strength to endure and master your art.” She believes to make lives easier for those who are already in the STEM fields, it is important to make STEM education fun and not too much textbook driven. Even though it is important to influence young adults and attract them towards STEM, it is just as important to educate parents, as they too have a huge influence on the decision-making of their child. Good, longer term job security should also be a priority.
To encourage young girls to join the STEM fields, Dr. Shweta thinks it is important that not only girls, but boys should also be exposed to female role models. This is a way to shape their thinking. She also believes that exposure to STEM based activities at a young age is key, as this will from the very start excite the younger children. Also, many people do not understand clear career paths on taking STEM, and do not realize the many opportunities that exist. Another important step is to try and break the stereotypes, such as, those who are in the STEM fields are anti-social, mathematic skills are a must-have, and women in STEM are not “real women”.
Lastly, here are Dr. Shweta’s closing words of encouragement for young girls who want to join a STEM field:
“Be driven by your passion.”
You can contact Dr. Shweta Agarwal on her LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/agarwalashweta/
I thank Dr. Shweta Agarwala for taking part in this project and answering all the questions in a very informative manner. I hope, your experience and STEM story will inspire a young girl to join a STEM field and excel just like you have.