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STEM with JEM

Did you know that National STEM Day falls on the 8th of November each year? That’s because the abbreviation “NOV8” actually stands for “INNOVATE.”

STEM is all about innovation. The goal of STEM Day is to not only acknowledge those who work in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but also to encourage young minds to follow their passions and pursue such careers.

JEM Engineering is proud to have an extremely skilled and diverse group of individuals who make things happen! We asked our very own Matt Berry (Mechanical Engineer) and Anjali Bhattarai (Electrical Engineer) to talk about why they chose their career paths.

What is it about engineering that interests you?

M: Problem-solving. Also, the most satisfying thing about engineering is thought that the 3D models and design documents you spent time developing on your computer will eventually be held in your hand – your hard work has become a real thing. (Read more about the process of developing a product here.)

A: As an electrical engineer, I find the concept of energy very enticing. Every object in the universe requires energy to perform its activity. Having the opportunity to generate and control electrical energy is definitely the best part. There’s also the added benefit of working with high tech gizmos like cell phones and smartwatches before they hit the market.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an engineer? If not, what was your first career choice and what made you switch to engineering?

M: In high school, my success in STEM subjects led me to take an Architectural AutoCAD class at the Career and Technology Center in Frederick, MD. Thinking that I wanted to study architecture, I also participated in the ACE Mentor Program, which focused on orienting students with the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering. I realized later that architecture was not the correct fit since it was more art-rather than math- and science-based. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I then transitioned to pursuing my degree in mechanical engineering, since it’s widely applicable to many fields (ie. aerospace engineering, civil engineering, etc.)

A: As a kid, I wanted to be an archaeologist. I later acknowledged my knack for analytical thinking, so I pursued engineering during my high school years, and later received a full scholarship to study engineering in college.

What would you say to persuade or encourage someone to study –or even pursue a career– in STEM?

M: STEM explains how things work, from something as simple as how water freezes to as complicated as a how a space shuttle can reach the moon. Engineering is problem solving and design. Both can be applied to any career you may see yourself doing, whether it be handling the foot traffic of hikers or directing water away from trails at a national park, or designing a robotic prosthetic to help those with a missing limb. Engineering is fun and challenging every day.

A: It pays well (laughs). As an engineer, you earn the skill set to transform your imagination into reality. Engineering teaches you how to better your concept and design through trial and error. It also alters your way of thinking by sharpening your analytical skills, making it easier to grasp any concept quicker. You become a problem solver and tackle important issues of the world. For instance, I once helped design a robot that could isolate and burn off cancer cells without harming healthy organs. With further research, it could have replaced chemotherapy.

Like Matt and Anjali, JEM Engineering proudly supports students and professionals in pursuit of careers in STEM!