Engineers' Day 2023: 7 Successful and Famous Women Engineers of India
Engineers' Day 2023: It is observed on September 15 in India to commemorate one of India's finest engineers, Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. According to the Institution of Engineers India (IEI), he was referred to as the 'precursor of economic planning in India'.
As we know success does not perceive gender, caste, or colour but only demands dedication and hard work. There is nothing nowadays that a woman can't do. Several women are pursuing a magnificent career in Engineering. Many successful women engineers have written their own stories, breaking the barriers, and are a source of encouragement that one should dream and pursue it.
7 Successful and Famous Women Engineers of India
1. Kalpana Chawla - First Indian woman who went into space
Kalpana Chawala is a name that no one will forget ever. She was the first Indian-origin woman who went into space. She was born on July 1, 1961, in Karnal and was the youngest of four children.
She obtained a degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College before immigrating to the United States. She became a naturalised citizen in the 1980s.
In 1988, she earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado and previously obtained her master’s degree from the University of Texas.
In the same year, she started working at NASA's Ames Research Center on power-lift computational fluid dynamics.
She was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1994. In November 1997, she got her first opportunity to fly in space aboard the space shuttle Columbia on flight STS-87. Her second flight was in 2003, which failed on its way back to earth and claimed her life and other crew members.
2. A. Lalitha - India’s first woman Electrical Engineer
She was married at the age of 15 and when she was 18, she had her daughter. In 1937, a few months later, her husband passed away. Instead of remaining at home, she decided to take up a professional course.
She applied to Chennai’s College of Engineering Guindy (CEG) in 1939, an all-male institution at the time. At that time she became CEG's first woman student, a widow, and a mother.
After obtaining her honour's degree she spent a few years with his father, helping him with his research. Later, she joined Associated Electrical Industries, a British firm.
Then she began designing transmission lines, doing substation layouts, and executing contracts. She was also associated with work on electrical generators for the Bhakra Nangal Dam.
In 1964, she became the first woman engineer from India to attend the First International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists which was held in New York. In 1979, she passed away.
3. Rajeshwari Chatterjee - First woman engineer from Karnataka
She received her early education at an experimental school. This school was set up by her grandmother in Mahila Seva Samaj in Basavanagudi. She earned a B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc degree in Mathematics from Maharani’s College, Bengaluru. She obtained Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
She had joined the Department of Communication Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) along with her husband and was the only woman faculty member at the institute. She was considered the first woman engineer from Karnataka.
She pursued research in the field of microwaves and built a microwave research laboratory at IISc. Her contribution to microwave research is still relevant in the field of RADAR and is also used in defence applications.
Union Ministry of Women and Child Development named her posthumously as one of the ‘first women achievers of India’. At the age of 88, she passed away in 2010.
4. Vinita Gupta - Founder and Chairman of Digital Link Corporation (now Quick Eagle Networks)
She was born in 1950 in Delhi, India. She is an Indian-born American businesswoman. She established Digital Link Corporation (now Quick Eagle Networks) and is credited as the first woman of Indian origin to take her company public in the United States.
She holds a bachelor's degree in electronics and communications from the University of Roorkee (now Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee). She came to the United States in 1974 and earned an M.S in electrical engineering from the University of California Los Angeles.
5. Prachi Gupta - Vice President of Engineering, Discord
She has experience of two decades in consumer technology companies. She is an entrepreneurial engineer and enjoys prototyping ideas and conceptualizing, designing, and delivering impactful software.
She is an active supporter of diversity in STEM and co-founded LinkedIn's Women in Technology, and she is also an alumnus board member of Women's Audio Mission.
She earned a degree in master's in computer science and has significant experience in working with startups to explore innovative solutions to real-world problems.
6. Priya Balasubramaniam- Vice President at Apple Inc
She is an engineer with a background in mechanical engineering, supply chain management, marketing, and software engineering. In 2001, she joined Apple Inc. She became Director for Core Technologies Procurement which consists of touch panels, LCD and batteries in June 2006. She became a Senior Director in the company in July 2010. Since October 2014, she has worked as Vice President of Core Technologies & iPhone Operations.
Michigan State University awarded Balasubramaniam an honorary Doctorate of Engineering in December 2017.
7. Kirthiga Reddy - Growth-stage Investor | Technology Executive | Board Member
She has around twenty years of experience leading technology-driven transformations. She is the first female Investing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers (SBIA).
Earlier, she was Managing Director, Facebook India, and South Asia. She is a co-founder of the F7 seed fund.
She serves on the board of directors for Collective Health, Fungible, and WeWork; and is a board observer for Pear Therapeutics.
She earned a degree in MBA from Stanford University. From Syracuse University, she graduated with the highest honours as an Arjay Miller Scholar with an M.S. in Computer Engineering. She had also done a B.E. in Computer Science from Marathwada University, India.
She has been recognized as Fortune India’s “Most Powerful Women'' and as Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” among other recognitions.