For Valentine’s Day, SWE members are recognizing their husbands and other loved ones for all of the support they give to help women engineers succeed. If you have a supportive significant other, please tell us all about it using the hashtag #VDay2017 and tag us @SWEtalk.
By Jennifer Morikawa
Robert Morikawa: Mechanical engineer, Professional Engineer, Father, (SWE) husband, and more. For my entire professional SWE career, Robert has been my biggest supporter. We met the summer after I graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. It was a time when I was transitioning to be a professional and finding my place in the community and in SWE.
As I navigated my way into SWE leadership positions and projects, he never doubted my decisions to take on anything. He has been my sounding board and my grounding. Robert supports me and SWE, from the little things: picking up dinner for various SWE Detroit committee meetings, attending University of Michigan section meetings & banquets when I was the section counselor to the big things: traveling to region and society conferences so that we could integrate quality time with each other and my time with our eldest son. He often contributed directly to several program successes: stuffing envelopes for membership solicitation, judging scholarship applications, and packaging up and mailing “Engineers Are Everywhere” coloring books. Robert has been a true enabler to what I needed to do for my many SWE hats throughout the years.
SWE events would be one of the activities for our dates or excuse to travel throughout our marriage. I recall earlier in our marriage, I overheard someone ask him why he came to SWE events. Other than enjoying the professional development and sometimes technical topics that interested him, Robert told her that he loved watching me “doing my thing” as I interacted with others. Later that evening, he told me that the energy and passion he saw in my face at these events is one of the reasons he fell in love with me. With two young children now, some SWE events have given us an excuse to “get out” and go on a rare date night.
Just being who he is has indirectly supported me and SWE: growing up in Hawaii, graduating from Michigan Tech, playing hockey, and working in the consulting/facility design industry. His shared experiences have integrated with mine and enabled me to be “Always Connecting, Always Engineering” with SWE members near and far to make a tighter community.
Borrowing from another society theme, “SWE is My Constant” and so is Robert Morikawa.