On Engineering in Crisis: Innovating in the Kitchen

Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us for a short-form blog series on how SWE Members are navigating the world amidst COVID-19. In this first blog, we are pleased to feature Elizabeth Jones from Arizona State University.
On Engineering in Crisis: Innovating in the Kitchen

This COVID-19 blog series will showcase how different SWE members are engineering their lives during this fluid and ever-changing environment. Today, we are pleased to feature Elizabeth Jones from Arizona State University.

Want to be featured? Submit your ‘Engineering in Crisis’ story here.

Your Name & Affiliation: Elizabeth Jones, Arizona State University 

Engineering Discipline: Electrical Engineering

How do you handle stress and maintain a work-life balance right now?

Maintaining a work-life balance right now has been a bit tricky for me. I usually use my home as a relaxing space to reset, so now having to work in that same space has been slow to get going! I think something that has more recently helped me is attempting to remove all distractions from the space I am working in. Not having Netflix at the ready has helped me to mentally transition into a space where I can work and then relax!

Do you have any tips for studying or working from home?

The biggest thing that has been helping me study and work from home is my planner! Staying organized during this time helps me keep a checklist of everything that needs to be done in between work calls. Setting goals for my day has really helped me to be productive.

How do you maintain community with your fellow SWE members, section, or affiliate?

Here at Arizona State we have transitioned the remainder of our meetings to ZOOM! The SWE-ASU community is a key part of weekly life for all our members and as a leader in the section, I wanted to still help provide that. We are still running our workshops for professional development while also doing daily yoga zoom meetings where everyone can keep active while practicing social distancing!

Engineers will be part of the critical solution to the global crisis created by COVID-19. How are you engineering in crisis today?

This may seem a bit silly, but I think that I’ve been engineering in a crisis by what I’ve been cooking. To me, a key aspect of engineering is identifying a problem and then designing a solution to fix the problem while fitting the needs of those affected. Cooking during this crisis feels a lot like solving a problem to me. You’re home all day so you want to snack, but also know that the last grocery haul was supposed to last two weeks. I’ve really taken the time during these two weeks of self-quarantine to cook new things, using items that may not normally go together in order to work through the groceries I have while “designing” a cohesive meal. Staying healthy during this time is super important and being able to think like an engineer in the kitchen has helped my roommates and me.


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