My name is Amar Dabaja, and I am so excited to be acting as a SWENext Newsletter reporter this year! I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have had to grow as a SWE member, and I am excited to pass it forward and inspire all of you! I would like to tell you a little about myself.
I grew up in Metro Detroit, Michigan. Throughout my school years, I was strongly interested in math, science, and problem-solving, which led me to consider engineering as a future career option. My high school did not have many engineering-related extra-curricular activities such as robotics clubs and programming classes, so I did a lot of research on my own. As Metro Detroit is known for its automotive heritage, I also had the opportunity to be influenced by local scientists and engineers of various disciplines in the automotive industry. Eventually, I decided to study electrical engineering because I was interested in the way small-scale subfields such as electronics, digital systems, and control systems combined to form larger-scale applications in a diverse range of industries such as automotive engineering, medical engineering, power engineering, and more.
I studied electrical engineering at Lawrence Technological University, which is a small, private, technical university in Southfield, Michigan. During my undergraduate degree, I had opportunities to perform original and funded research, work on team projects sponsored by local engineering companies, perform academic tutoring, and more. One particularly fun project that I was part of was Formula Electric. Formula Electric is an annual competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, which invites student teams to design and build an electrically-powered race car to compete with in the spring. It was really fun to work with a multidisciplinary group of students with electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, business, marketing, and design backgrounds to design, fund, and fabricate our team vehicle over the course of the year. Some of the tasks that I was in charge of included designing the printed circuit boards and battery pack of the vehicle as well as managing the electrical powertrain subsystem timeline and budget. I was furthermore involved in multiple professional organizations on campus, particularly as a leader of my university’s student section of SWE. As part of SWE, I had opportunities to network with local female engineers, host social and professional development events on campus, plan fundraisers and career fairs, and so on.
After graduating, I joined Veoneer as an electrical hardware engineer. I now design electronic control units responsible for detecting vehicle crashes and activating airbags and other passive safety mechanisms accordingly. I am really glad to have the opportunity to contribute to the field of automotive safety and help save lives through my career!
One thing I have learned from my path in engineering is that anyone can be an engineer! It has often been the case that I was one of a few females in the room, but it is important not to be intimidated and to realize that everyone of us is unique in their own way. Many people often think that there is a list of engineering skill sets, and that you must have all of the skills in the list in order to succeed as an engineer. On the contrary, a successful team of engineers is one in which the team members have diverse skills and abilities that can all be brought together to serve a common purpose.
I look forward to introducing you to different engineering topics and SWE resources throughout the year. And always remember to Aspire, Advance, and Achieve, and you all will change the world one day!
This post was written by the FY22 SWENext Programs Publications Workgroup.