Inchara Lakshminarayan

Graduate Student, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota

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It's a challenging path but that's what makes it worth it in the end.

What do you do?

I design navigation technology for futuristic autonomous systems.

Why did you choose this field?

My undergraduate mentor was my biggest inspiration to get into this field and develop a love for this subject. Without a surprise, she was a woman! Women in aerospace have always stood out for their perseverance and passion towards the subject despite all the struggles. Their unique wave of strength and support inspires me deeply.

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

Being invited as a session chair into one of the world's biggest navigation conference was something I never expected. It is very easy to feel lost and lonely during PhD and most students go through depression when things don't go their way. I now look back at my younger self to remind her to keep up the hard work and be patient, then recognition is sure to follow.

Why do you love working in STEM?

What wakes me up everyday is always a hope that someday my efforts will make a positive contribution to make the world a better place. I believe in the power of science and we need to push it forward.

Best advice for next generation?

There might be many instances in your career when you might question your choices and decisions and feel inadequate. BELIEVE in yourself and DO NOT GIVE UP. It's a challenging path but that's what makes it worth it in the end. Just keep it going little by little and one day it WILL become big.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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