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Hannaneh Hojaiji

Scientist, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

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There might be a few women in your field, but be sure that you are one of the jewels.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm an Electrical and Computer Engineer with a specialization in Circuits and Embedded Systems. Particularly, I design wearable and smart health monitoring devices.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I discovered my interest in this field when I learned about children with cancer and how ,in general, continuously monitoring individulas health status reduces the mortality rates. I wanted to design smart sensing modalities and implement personalized health monitoring devices to make medical care more accessible and more persnonalized. I made that my mission starting as an undergraduate at UCLA. I joined the relevant research labs to learn about the approaches in this field. Later as a part of my research, I designed several mHealth devices (smart asthma monitoring system, and a sweat-based glucose monitoring watch). Additionally, I got to publish my scientific findings for these projects and was recognized and awarded through local and national venues. Now, I am a PhD student in this field developing wearable sweat-based biomarker monitoring platforms using soft electronics to learn about the body's dynamic chemistry for personalized health monitoring applications.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

Believing that even if I am the only woman and minority in my department, lab, etc. I do not miss any skills. I wish to always remember that people will tell me "You can't"; probably they can't but I have a cause to fight for.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I look at the knowledge and science as a light bubble that the scientists are trying to make its radius bigger and bigger every day, and I love to be one of them lighting up the direction of smart health monitoring. I can't wait to see what was missing in the dark and bring it to light.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Remember that there are a few numbers of jewels in the world which make them precious; there might be a few women in your field, but be sure that you are one of the jewels to make it even more precious.

INSPO / FUN FACT

"Be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mahatma Gandhi