Leading up to International Women in Engineering Day (INWED 2019) on Sunday, June 23, 2019, we are highlighting several SWE Members and Affiliates around the world who are working to advance STEM and champion diversity in the engineering industry. Here, we highlight SWE Member Davida Gondohusodo of Jakarta, Indonesia.
How do you think engineering can help create a better, more promising future?
Engineers have the skills to turn imagination into products that can be used for the betterment of humanity. I joined SWE to support women in engineering and to inspire young girls to get into engineering because engineering is fun.
What inspired your interest in engineering?
I have always known I was going to be an engineer. I have this memory of my dad telling me I am going to study engineering then get my MBA. When we were kids, we could only choose one movie to rent and I always lost in the negotiation on the movie so we always brought home movies like Iron Eagle. And I’ve always loved airplanes; when I was six, we went on a family vacation to the US and during a stop over, my dad and I were standing in front of a Boeing 747, and he said it’s the biggest airplane made by the greatest company. In college I must have submitted around 70 resumes for an internship—I pretty much applied for every single position at that time. I got one interview and got hired. Working for Boeing was a dream. I also must have seen the Blue Angels more than 10 times in the 17 years I lived in the US and Canada. When I was in grad school, my bedroom was surrounded by Boeing’s military aircraft posters and a scaled model of Blue Angel #1 hanging from the ceiling. I swear…it was those Iron Eagle movies! Maybe also those days when our grandfather gave us styrofoam airplane models to build and fly around the room when my brother and I bothered him in his office. 🙂
What kind of engineer are you? Walk us through a “day in the life” of your engineering discipline.
I am an industrial engineer with experience in new product development. Engineering jobs are not monotonous so each day brings a new adventure. Yes, there are days that filled with meetings, but there are also days spent on the production floor measuring areas for each process, “playing” with our scaled models to see how feasible our production flow is going to be when everything is in place and we produce real parts. It’s always exciting to see plans become reality when we actually produce a real part.
Is your section doing any outreach activities in the next month or so you’d like to share?
Currently, we are in our school break, so no outreach activities until at least September. However, in FY19 we:
- Collaborated with MakeBlok to host a coding class using MBot
- Participated in Habibie Festival, a four-day event hosted by the son of our third president, by opening a booth and instructing elementary to high school students on a few STEAM activities
- Introduced engineering and SWE to Bina Bangsa Junior High Schoolers
- Hosted a free 3D class
- Introduced engineering during ‘Job Experience Sharing’ at Lab School High School
- Hosted a one-day event called “For the Love of STEAM” where 52 children from the ages of 3 to 15 attended and learned about coding, built hydraulic cranes, learned about the solar system, and built balloon-powered cars
Do you have any words of advice to young girls who are hoping to #TransformTheFuture with a career in engineering?
Keep your dreams alive. Find people who are like you and understand you. (Hint, hint: join SWE!)
“Keep your dreams alive. Find people who are like you and understand you.”
– Davida Gondohusodo, SWE Member from Jakarta, Indonesia