Ajita Vinayak Tapas

Environmental and Hydraulic engineer

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Always be Inquisitive if you are in STEM.

What do you do?

I am an Environmental and Hydraulic Engineer. I funnily call myself as a water psychologist as I try to find how water will behave in various situations viz inside the pipe, running over the ground, in river, underground etc.

Why did you choose this field?

Honestly speaking I never thought I would become an Engineer. I always imagined myself in a white coat with stethoscope around the neck or found myself get indulge in watching moon at night with telescope. Or becoming a lady detective! Anything but an engineer!
Being an Engineer, my father used to tell me about the fascinating field of engineering. He is a professor and he thought me many things while in school. I somewhere knew i wanted to become like my father and so went on his path.
In Engineering University, I had brilliant teachers for Environmental and water resources related subjects and my interest grew up. So I decided to study more about our environment and behaviour of water.
I organized a 3 days water - pilgrimage on Godavari river in my town to explain people the importance of rivers in lives of earthlings. I was successful in delivering my message by combining science, spirituality and environment. This activity is now running yearly by fellow juniors.
When I look back, the journey of becoming an engineer amazes me. And I consider myself fortunate to be guided by brilliant people in life.
I am hoping to do the same for society.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

A Himalayan trek! In 2017 at the age of 26 I been to my first Himalayan trek. Had I known about the kind of overall experience and exposure to nature even 10 years back, I would have surely made an attempt. To add to this, being an asthma patient I took up this challenge in 2017, today I feel if I had attempted the same back in 2007 when I was not diagnosed with asthma, I would have taken this and even more challenges enthusiastically and proactively.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Working in STEM helps me utilise my analytical skills to solve real life problems. I get enthralled just by realizing mere possibility of exploring the real life situations and solving them using my STEM knowledge. I wake up everyday thinking - what new today!

Best advice for next generation?

Always be inquisitive if you are in STEM.
STEM will enable you to develop an inquisitive, analytical and solution oriented mindset. This will train you to face life with courage and composure, overcoming all the difficulties.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

1) There is a great beauty in simplicity.
2) Nature is not a place to visit. It is HOME.

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