Some people find the career they want after multiple attempts at different careers, while others decide on what they want to do from an early age. SWE India Global Ambassador Seema Chopra most certainly falls into the latter category.
At a young age, Seema was inspired to become an engineer by witnessing the work of her uncle, a well-respected government engineer. Seema’s desire to become an engineer led her to study at IIT Roorkee in India. There, she studied electrical engineering and received a PhD in Control Engineering.
Seema’s education and strong work ethic led her to working as a Technical Leader in Data Analytics at Boeing, the top aerospace company in the world. Seema’s research at Boeing includes developing the next generation of airplane health management using machine learning methods in real time, streaming analytics of airline data and big data platforms to process large data. Or to put it simply, her research will help airlines identify and respond to problems proactively as soon as the airplane lands so that passengers are back in the air as soon as possible and there is no delay or cancellation of flights.
When asked how she meets the demands of her important job, Seema Chopra thanks her family for support, most importantly her husband and two children. Seema’s job is demanding because she travels frequently, takes night calls and works flexible hours. When asked how she balances her work and home life Chopra says, “There is nothing called work and life separately; life is the holistic entity into which works fits and blends.”
Chopra was introduced to SWE by a friend and was fascinated by the Society immediately. As a working woman, Chopra found a lot of appeal in SWE. She believes SWE provides a high visibility commitment to diversity and the achievements of women engineers.
Another reason Chopra joined SWE is because she thinks it is important to support women in engineering and technology. She believes women have great potential but need encouragement to pursue STEM.
SWE has given Chopra great support whether its through exposure to big platforms, leadership skills or networking with companies globally. Seema believed in the SWE cause so much that in 2017, she took the role of SWE Global Ambassador for India.
As Global Ambassador, Seema Chopra has been highly involved in outreach events, one of which was organizing an engineering week at the Shishu Mandir College in Bangalore, India for the PU students. The objective of the event was to instill the spirt of engineering in the budding minds of students by introducing them to the engineering excellence of Boeing and its association with SWE. The volunteers at the event captivated students with an insightful workshop on building robotic arms and airplanes with propellers. The students were amazed with being able to build such complex machines with everyday materials. Seema believes outreach events are important because as she puts it, “Engineering is one of the most exciting and essential fields, and we need to share this excitement with girls in schools and colleges so that they are keen to accept STEM in their future.”
As a Global Ambassador, Seema Chopra is supporting multiple events in India to further support women in STEM. These events include a SWE Mini Conference in Bengaluru that took place in 2017, WE Local India in Bengaluru in 2019 and more than five events for women’s growth in Boeing, GM, Intel, SAP and Shell. Currently, one school in India is affiliated with SWE, with more in the pipeline.
Seema Chopra asks for those interested in SWE India affiliation to connect to monthly Bengaluru affiliation meetings on Webex and their WhatsApp group.