Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) WE Local India 2019 brought together women from across the country including university students, women in academia and professionals in engineering. Bengaluru played the host city for the first time from 11th to 13th April, 2019. This conference almost doubled its participants since last three years with everybody uniting to this year’s theme “Breaking Boundaries.” Collins Aerospace India (UTC) rose to the occasion as a Silver Partner (backed by the sponsorship from HQ) to demonstrate commitment towards diversity, inclusion and empowerment of women in STEM.
Sanjukta Sarkar (Director, HR) spearheaded this initiative as a member of the SWE Advisory Board. She also attended the Executive Reception, with Agnes Klucha (Sr. Director, ESC Phoenix) and Rema Ravindran (Director, Power and Controls). Collins was represented by a team of 48 employees, including employees from Heritage Rockwell Collins. We were accompanied by Air Products, Bechtel, Boeing, Cadence, Caterpillar, Cummins Inc., Eaton, Emerson, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Halliburton, Honeywell, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, Intel Corporation, John Deere, Keysight, Medtronic, NYU, Shell and Tata Communications.
Sabina Nawaz, a renowned C-suite coaching professional, took center stage with her opening keynote on “Junk Mail in Our Brains”; detailing how one should mentally detox in order to maximize performance. She followed this up with an engaging introduction session for the audience, kicking off the opportunities for networking, career and professional growth.
Gold at the End of the Rainbow
Vinita Chaudhary (Dy. Manager, HR) and Amrita Mishra (Dy. Manager, HR) delivered a scintillating “Lightning Talk” on how India has finally woken up to realize the paradigm shift required to truly include the LGBT community as a part of the so called “mainstream” population. They focused on actions corporate entities could take to recognize, embrace and include LGBT employees into wholesome workforces. Alt-
hough this situation is in dire need of solutions, India still tends to sweep it under the carpet. Their talk brought this sensitive topic to light, on a very prominent forum and the audience deeply appreciated it.
This brought them their own gold, as Penny Wirsing (President, FY-19, SWE) awarded them the prize for the Best Rated Session for Diversity and Inclusion Awareness!
AI-Based Structural Design and Health Monitoring System
Ilavarasi Muthuraman (Engineer, Aerostructures) presented an insight into the design and maintenance methodologies of tomorrow. She talked about the valuable supplements AI could provide for traditional CAD based designs to propose more robust solutions from the get go. Further, she dived into the use of AI for predictive maintenance of aircrafts in order to prolong their in-service life, without compromising safety.
However, no AI was required to observe that her presentation received loads of praise and applause, as it was adjudged the Best Rated Session in the category of Innovation and Disruption !
Poster Presentation – Agile Project Management
Krithika Teggihal (Engineer, Mechanical Systems) created and presented a poster on Agile Project Management. She explained Agile Management – an interactive and incremental methodology for project management and how it is being used across various industries.
Her poster detailed several important factors for practical application of this method, including available frameworks and the possibilities of creating hybrid frameworks to suit any project.
She concluded with the enhancements Agile Management brings about in Project Execution.
Vijayalakshmi Diwakar (Sr. Project Analyst, Program Management) supported Krithika in this presentation.
Podcast – Breaking Boundaries
Janice Chowallur (Dy. Manager, Operations) was featured in SWE’s “Diverse” podcast series, along with Rashmi Naik from Medtronic. They kicked off the discussion by addressing why they chose to be engineers in the first place, before delving into the colorful stories of their individual career paths. They touched upon how their careers have taught them to break free from the stereotypical boundaries restraining women in both their professional and personal lives.
When asked what advice she would like to pass on to budding engineers, Janice jovially replied “Be true to yourself and keep going”.
In order to boost the knowledge and experience sharing aspects of the event, SWE had organized an hour long Speed Mentoring session with approximately 25 mentors and mentees each. The mentors hailed from various industries, organizations and backgrounds, bringing a myriad of experience and tips to the table. Sanjukta Sarkar (Director, HR), Rema Ravindran (Director, Power and Controls), Satya Swaroop Panda (Sr. Engineering Manager, Interiors) and Veena Narasimhan (Sr. Manager, HR) opened up their stories to the mentees, providing them with ample food for thought and constructive advice to take away from the session. Janice Chowallur (Dy. Manager, Operations) and Runjhun Agarwal (Lead Engineer, Avionics and Mission Systems) attended as mentees.
Runjhun concluded, “I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, regarding how we were expected to exchange views in a couple of minutes. However, having met the mentors from Boeing, John Deere, Ingersoll Rand, VISA etc., all my questions were answered. This session gave a sneak peek into the minds of these established professionals”.
We had setup a stall to showcase our manufacturing and engineering capabilities. The display comprised of Temperature Sensors, Camera Units, and Lighting products such as Passenger Service Unit etc. We also had a model to demonstrate the functioning of flaps and a VR experience of the Nacelle assembly. Ishwar Bhat (Specialist – II, Power and Controls) and Satya Swaroop Panda (Sr. Engineering Manager, Interiors) were the technical experts at the stall.
To actively engage the visitors, we also had fun games which revolved around our products. The visitors received prizes for playing and winning these games. Pradeep Bhaskar (Asst. Manager, HR) was in charge of the recruitment efforts at the stall, briefing our history, corporate culture and benefits of working for Collins. Digital recruitment brought in around 400 profiles through the career fair.
Our stall was a hit and attracted most of the crowd, including people from other stalls. Emily Burnett (Manager, SWE Global Programs) echoed the same!
An honorable mention goes out to the volunteers for putting together the stall behind the scenes, as well as interacting with the visitors. Pramod Vaddarse, Tanay Ghose, Ankita Kota, Arijit Banerjee, Anasuya Chaudhuri, Anusha Harlapur, Rashmitha Nair, Keerthi Shastry, Gowri Meenakshi, Varalaxmi Pai, Siva Ananthi, Karthick Kumar, Aiyswariyaa Sridharan, Barath Shanmugam and Velvizhi Ravichandran take a bow!