Welcome to Diverse, the podcast of the Society of Women Engineers. SWE supports the advancement of women in engineering and technology. You can find all of our podcasts on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Stitcher.
Hi, I’m Penny Wirsing, FY19 President of the Society of Women Engineers, and this is SWE’s Diverse podcast.
Joining me now is Melody Mojib. She is an Aerospace Project Engineer supporting Additive Manufacturing at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, and she has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Thanks for joining us Melody.
First, tell us about your educational background.
I received my Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from California State University, Northridge. As a student, I was always a math geek so I was naturally attracted to the big world of engineering. Mechanical engineering was a great choice for me because it gave me a taste of the entire engineering pie, which is something you don’t always get, for example as a computer or electrical engineer. Since graduating, I have participated in numerous leadership courses and have obtained my Green Belt in lean six sigma.
How did you become interested in Additive Manufacturing?
During my first internship, I had a great opportunity to work on a developmental project, where one of our proposed manufacturing methods was additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Even though additive manufacturing did not meet our needs at the time, I was exposed to this new world of manufacturing. Shortly after graduating, I was presented with a great opportunity to join the Additive Manufacturing firm we had worked with during my internship. During my time with this firm, I dived deeply into metal additive for Aerospace production. I knew right away I saw my future in the world of Additive. The additive manufacturing process allows for a whole new set of limitless possibilities because of its freedom to design parts specific for the application. It is very exciting to be a part of such a rapidly growing industry, concentrated on constant innovation. Being a very extroverted engineer with a great thirst to learn and grow, additive is a perfect fit for my personality and interests. It is very difficult to not be interested in joining such an innovative industry, where we are presented with a whole new set of requirements to be understood and validated, with so much potential to disrupt the conventional manufacturing sector.
You joined Stratasys Direct Manufacturing which provides 3D printing hardware, software, materials and services. Tell us about your career there.
Well, I don't know if you can believe it, Penny, but Stratasys has been around for more than 30 years. We sell 3D printing solutions to everyone. This means that we develop and sell products and services. I work on the services bureau side as a Project Engineer on the Aerospace team at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. I manage many different projects that range from helping customers with quick prototype parts to aiding in the design, manufacturing, validation and qualification of parts for end use production. As a project engineer, I have the unique ability to work directly with amazing individuals interested in additive and to implement the changes necessary for a successful part. This gives me a great amount of influence and change in this rapidly growing industry. As a project engineer at SDM, my purpose is understanding the customers’ needs. Every day we have exciting projects being printed for many different industries, such as anatomical models for the medical field, or different parts for formula cars or spaceships.
What advice would you give to young women engineers looking for innovative cultures in the early stages of their career?
As a student, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in two different internships with two different company cultures. This allowed me to better learn and understand what key company values were most important to me as a female engineer. Innovation is, of course, a big necessity for me. During my job searches, I always come ready with my set of requirements personal to me, which I feel are necessary to my success. Even before the interview, I look into the company, especially their social media platforms such as LinkedIn and even Instagram. Many companies showcase their achievements and innovations through posts, or white papers. It’s a great way to learn about the company to prepare for the interview, but also see how they are innovating and changing to become industry leaders.
We both live in California; Do you think that’s an advantage for work/life balance?
I really enjoy taking advantage of our wonderful weather. I love to spend time in the sun with friends, either hiking or trying to finish our Journey for the best tacos and donuts in LA. I’m a big craft beer and board game enthusiast so I enjoy finding new craft breweries around town to spend the night playing new board games with friends. And much more recently I have started playing the violin again. I’d like to join a fun community orchestra in the future.
What advice do you have for young women interested in engineering and trying to decide what discipline to pursue?
My biggest recommendation to young women is to try as many different classes in school as possible and to obtain an internship as early as possible. Engineering is a great field and there are many different branches available to fit everyone’s interest, whether its 3D printing, designing roller coasters, or integrating a public transportation system. When I started, I wanted to help design robotic prosthetics, but as I got further in my education, my interests changed as I learned more about the different opportunities available within this industry. I recommend to always be open and accepting of change, and to be open to saying yes and trying new things. This definitely includes taking classes outside of your major, because, as an engineer, you never know how the knowledge you’ve gained today will help you succeed tomorrow.
Melody, thank you so much for joining us. Melody Mojib is an Aerospace Project Engineer in Additive Manufacturing at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.
And I’m Penny Wirsing, from all of us as SWE, thanks for listening.
This content has been contributed by Stratasys as as part of a promotional digital content program.