Another thing I think is unique to being on an FSAE team is that I get to work side by side with electrical, mechanical, and computer engineers every day. While on the team, I’ve gotten to learn how people from each background think and approach problems, which I never get to see in school surrounded by other people also in Computer Science. Because of this, I’ve learned to think about the system from different perspectives. And can predict and debug problems that have nothing to do with software.
How did your studies impact your current role as Controls Lead?
I think school has indirectly contributed to my work on MFE. While I haven’t been explicitly taught vehicle dynamics in class, I’ve learned best practices for software design, development, testing, and debugging, all of which are critical for designing and implementing our controls system. Had I not had this background, I definitely don’t think I could’ve picked up all the mechanical and electrical knowledge I needed to handle the real-world constraints I mentioned before.
What is the male-female split on your team? What are your thoughts on women in tech?
While our team does have quite a few women (probably 7-10), it’s not a 50-50 split with men. While at competitions this summer I was very happy to see a lot of women on other teams, I do think MFE has a slightly better ratio. I think this is because McGill itself has a very high ratio of women to men comparatively. I am very excited that I see the overall female/male ratio on other teams at competitions growing every year.
In terms of the industry, I like that I see the number of women in engineering roles continuously growing. McGill has a lot of companies come to tech fairs and hackathons, and they all do a great job at making themselves attractive for women to apply to. I’m fortunate never to have had a bad experience in this regard, but I know they’re not as rare as I’d like. The thing that made me the most comfortable at previous internships was not the number of women around me but the fact that I was treated as an engineer, not a “female engineer.”