In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Connections Affinity Group is taking over the Diverse podcast for two incredible episode to highlight AAPI women engineers who came to the US as international students.
In part 1, guest host Sarah Koenig sits down with Nora Lin and Dr. Vidya Chamundeswari Narasimhan. They discuss their moves to the United States, the “culture shock” they experienced and how moving here helped them defy the expectations of Asian Culture.
Be sure to check out the next episode, “When Asia Meets America Pt. 2” on May 22nd. You can find all episodes of Diverse streaming on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and anywhere you stream podcasts.
Guest: Nora Lin
Nora Lin is a SWE Past President, Fellow and Life member. Currently, she is serving as an advisor of the SWE Asian Connection Affinity Group and an award coordinator on the SWE Awards and Recognition Committee. Nora was born and raised in Taiwan. She completed her B.S. degree in Physics in Taiwan and earned her M.S. degree in Physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nora started her career as a scientific programmer and later expanded it into software engineering, supportability engineering, system engineering, and engineering program management. She retired as a chief engineer from Northrop Grumman in 2018 after working in the defense industry for 35 years.
Guest: Dr. Vidya Chamundeswari Narasimhan
Dr. Vidya is currently heading the Biomaterials engineering division at NEW AGE MEATS. She is passionate about contributing to the well-being of the planet through innovative, sustainable, and efficient technology platforms. She received her Ph.D from Nanyang Technological University(NTU), Singapore. Her research focused on developing bioactive polymeric scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration applications. During her post doctoral fellowship in Singapore, Vidya spearheaded various academia-industrial collaborative projects. She is also actively involved in STEM mentorship and in tutoring University and Junior college students for various competitive examinations in the US. Vidya has also previously interned at MIT Harvard to pursue her Masters’ thesis project and the exposure and experiences she gained from her internship motivated her to further pursue tissue regeneration and mentorship endeavors as her career pathway. Vidya is an active member of SWE ACAG as well as Global Professionals.
Host: Sarah Koenig
Sarah is the Associate Director of Manufacturing Cost Modeling at Pratt and Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies. In this role, she is responsible for a team of Manufacturing Engineers and the creation of manufacturing cost models to support partnership and supplier pricing negotiations.
Koenig has been an active SWE member since college. She served as her collegiate section President and, after moving to Connecticut, continuously held leadership roles, including section President. She is a SWE Life member. Koenig serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Mujigae, a Korean culture camp.
She graduated from the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island, earning a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a B.A. in French in addition to an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. Koenig lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling, trying new recipes, and going to Walt Disney World.