Kaitlyn Bunker earned her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Kaitlyn’s background includes a focus in power systems, power electronics, controls and microgrids, along with a passion for increasing efficiency and renewable sources of energy. Below she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
You might use electricity every day when you turn on the lights or use a computer. In my work as an electrical engineer, I design systems to make sure that you have electricity available when you need it, and that is comes from clean and low-cost resources.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
Curiosity, creativity, an interest in helping others.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
My Dad is a mechanical engineer, designing the system in your car that decides whether an airbag is needed if you are in a crash. My Mom is a biochemist, managing a research laboratory focused on understanding arthritis. From them, I knew that I was interested in a STEM field, but I didn't know what specific type until I was older.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
My parents both inspired me with their examples of STEM careers, and I knew that as an engineer I would have the opportunity to help other people, which is something I always wanted to be able to do through my career.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
Go to the top of a brand new wind turbine. Design a solar energy system that will bring electricity to people who have never had it before. Travel to new places and find creative solutions to bring them clean, low-cost electricity.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Go for it! With a STEM degree, you are opening so many opportunities for yourself. You can start in one STEM field and move to another, all with a great STEM foundation. If you're interested, go for it and find some aspect of STEM that fits your passions.
Thank you for contributing, Kaitlyn!
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