Meet our Engineering Hero: Shanthala Kamath

Shanthala round 23rd June 2021
 Shanthala Kamath

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Women have been behind some of the biggest and most celebrated STEM developments in history, from artificial intelligence to vaccine development.

Yet in the engineering profession they are still underrepresented. The Womens Engineering Society (WES) reports that just 13% of the US engineering workforce is female. International Women in Engineering Day aims to inspire the next generation to study and build a rewarding career in engineering. Find out more about one of our Engineering Heroes Shanthala Kamath.

Why did you decide to become an engineer?

In my school years, I got interested in applied sciences. I developed a passion for physics during high school. My hobbies included creative model building. Engineering appeared to be at the cross-section of my academic strengths and my passion. This led to a degree in engineering, majoring in Instrumentation Technology.

What or who inspired you?

Growing up, I had a couple of engineers in my family and they spoke with great passion about their profession. I was especially influenced and inspired from a young age by my uncle who was a Civil Engineer. I remember hearing fascinating stories about his profession.

What do you like about your job?

There are too many to mention, all the way from satisfaction of problem solving, designing products, help shape upcoming industrial technologies, to working with great professionals.

At the core of my profession is the skill of applying technology to solve problems. After two decades in this field, I am always astonished how application of engineering fundamentals always works and never goes obsolete! My job has transformed me into a continuous learner as well. I also derive great satisfaction grooming young engineers and seeing their passion for engineering develop and grow.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on so far?

This question got me thinking and took me back to 1998! I hold very dear to my heart, the very first product that I was involved in developing, an industrial handheld communicator! The excitement of designing a product, to seeing it being used by customers was enormous. The failures and learnings, the colleagues who helped me learn my craft, my first invention, are all memorable to this day. The success and learnings from that project has motivated and powered me through many more successful contributions over the years

What do you think is the best invention ever and why?

Just like the pioneers that ventured out into the open seas, the recent inventions in space technology such as reusable rockets and the first flight in Martian atmosphere, will open up new frontiers in space exploration. I see great hope in these inventions and feel that they will propel us to the next frontier and bring boundless possibilities to human kind.

What has motivated you to join this technology company?

I have known ABB as a pioneer in industrial engineering much before I started working here. I had a cousin who worked for ABB and spoke highly about the organization. Although I was originally an engineer at Elsag Bailey, I was pleased with ABB merger and continued to enjoy a fulfilling career with ABB.

How is ABB providing a good working environment for engineers and innovators?

ABB is known for being an innovative organization that strives to be a benchmark in the industry. Engineers and innovators thrive in ABB as a result of the environment that encourages innovation, creativity, depth and breadth of opportunities in engineering, supportive colleagues as well as a respectful and safe work place.

What would you say to high school female students who are trying to decide what to pursue at college?

For any female student in her school years with a passion for science and technology, an analytical mind for problem solving and an inclination to innovate and create, engineering and technology is a fulfilling educational and career choice. I have always felt fully equipped and skilled to perform my engineering duties. Gender is no barrier. Look around and you will see female engineering role models, excelling in their professions and feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride in their craft.

 

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