Assistant professor, MDH

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If you find the field interesting, go for it and don’t look back.

Ioanna Aslanidou

What do you do?

I work in energy engineering, trying to make energy production more efficient. I am also particularly interested in how fluids flow around objects and how gas turbines work. I spend a lot of my time teaching university students and also mentoring graduates in their PhD journey. The rest of my time I do research, try to find answers to engineering problems, to better understand the science behind them. The third part is to come up with new ideas that I think would be interesting to do research on.

Why did you choose this field?

I loved math and physics and grew up curious and wanting to do things with my hands. I would always fix things around the house with my dad and when it was time to decide what to do, I wanted to study something more applied than mathematics. At university, I came across fluid mechanics, which was the only subject I didn’t really understand, so I thought this would keep me interested for a while (and it has)!

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

Becoming the chair of the education committee of the IGTI section of ASME, and organizing a panel session at the largest gas turbine conference about engineering education related to gas turbines, my field of specialty.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love understanding how things work, and contributing to science that has been built bit by bit over the last few thousands of years. I wake up looking forward to inspiring my students and mentees to change the world.

Best advice for next generation?

If you find the field interesting, go for it and don’t look back. There will be some hurdles along the way, but they will make you stronger and the journey is totally worth it! Every woman has a different approach to working in STEM, so you should and can find your own way. Find a mentor and don’t compare yourself to others around you, everyone has different background, opportunities, and motivation. Keep that motivation in the back of your head and believe in yourself!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

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