In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Asian Connections Affinity Group is taking over Diverse for two incredible episode to highlight AAPI women engineers who came to the US as international students.
Listen to part 2 as host, Sarah Koenig, talks to Marina D’souza, Dung Nguyen and Vanessa Li about how they navigated their high school and college years, how it was like living away from family and tips on finding their first job.
If you haven’t already, check out part 1, “When Asia Meets America Pt. 1”! You can find all episodes of Diverse streaming on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and anywhere you stream podcasts.
Guest: Marina D’souza
Marina D’souza is a graduate student at the University of Colorado – Boulder working towards her Masters in Environmental Engineering. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering (Magna cum laude) and a minor in Materials Science and Engineering from Drexel University in June 2020. While at Drexel, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Sales lab under Dr. Christopher Sales, working on the regeneration of PFAS contaminated granular activated carbon using non-thermal plasma. She was also actively involved in several student organizations on campus and held the position of president of the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for two years. She also spent her summers interning at Merck as an associate specialist at TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Freiberg, Germany as a research assistant, and at Criterion Labs as a lab technician. She has also worked as a teaching assistant during her time at Drexel University as well as CU Boulder.
Guest: Vanessa Li
Vanessa Li is the FY22 SWE Membership Committee Chair-Elect. Vanessa Li came to the U.S. from Hong Kong as a high school student living in the dormitory on campus. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana University at Bloomington. She currently works at Novelis as a Program Manager and served as a site champion for the WiN (Women in Novelis) and BREATHE (Black Representatives Effectively Advocating Toward Human Equity) ERGs. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in STEM outreach events, speaking to students about manufacturing careers and traveling.
Guest: Dung Nguyen
Dung (Dian) Nguyen is the FY22 SWE Awards and Recognition Committee Chair. She came to the U.S. from Vietnam at 17 as a high school student in a cultural exchange program. She was placed in an American family where she learned the culture. She received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa then Master’s degree at Arizona State University, both in Electrical Engineering. She was a design lead for many high-volume projects in the cellular handset industry at Qorvo. She recently took a new role in the satellite communication industry at Viasat, where she provides her technical expertise to both the engineering and operations teams. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
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.