Emel Selamet: Women in Technology @ OSU
Are you interested in automotive engineering?
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)(link is external) is an interdisciplinary research center in The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. CAR focuses on: energy, safety and the environment, aimed at improving sustainable mobility.
We had a chance to talk to Emel Selamet, a research scientist at CAR, about her job and advice she has for young women looking to go into engineering.
Can you describe your day-to-day job?
First of all, being in a very friendly and supportive work environment is very valuable. Currently I do predictions and simulations of some heat transfer or internal combustion engine related problems via computer programming. Briefly, I am involved in implementing of new needs or requests on programming, analyzing the predictions with various parameters, making suggestions based on predictions, and publishing some findings.
When (and how) did you decide to work in the STEM field?
When I was in middle school, I realized that the opportunities to learn in science were endless. I tried to take whatever science-related course our school was offering. Also, getting good grades in these science classes motivated me to be in the field. It gave me the confidence to believe that I could be an engineer. I could see myself as a problem solver as long as I have enough knowledge about the subject. This field is very rewarding and I feel very fortunate that I am in it. There are always new recoveries and new tools which make people’s lives better and better.
What advice can you give young women who would like to take on a position in the STEM field?
Take advantage of all the available resources in the field. This is an incredible era – It’s easier than ever to access science-related content on the Internet, such as free lectures at some colleges (OpenCourseWare). Look through these and other literature in the subject you find interesting. Don’t be isolated from others; interact with your peers and those who have experience in the field you might be interested in. Be confident in yourself. When you are asked to solve an issue, stick to the problem, focus on the problem, read available literature as much as possible for all the questions you may have.
How do you stay up-to-date with new trends in the STEM world?
I enjoy reading articles about my field. Our university library does an excellent job of obtaining articles or any other material. Attending conferences is another way I learn about new developments in both my area and in other subjects in the STEM community.
Is there any technology that you are particularly excited about right now? Why?
I am always excited about new technologies to improve conventional vehicles, such as self-driving cars. I also find advancements in mobile devices fascinating. It has changed our life tremendously. It’s amazing to me how easily we can reach anybody or any information in any part of the world.
What has been your favorite moment/experience from working in the STEM field?
I was working on a project aimed to develop a software with a unique feature, the company had been trying to do it for about 10 years without being able to finish it. I was able to complete that.
What has been the hardest part of working in the STEM field?
Just a few minor mistakes in, for example, a code or experiment, or lack of attention can result in a significant loss of time and it can be very frustrating process. We have to stay patient in such situations and really focus on the issue at hand to work towards a solution.
This feature blog post is part of our #OSUWomenInTech campaign. Hear more stories from female leaders involved in technology at Ohio State by following us on Twitter @TechHubOSU(link is external) and stopping in store to see our digital signage features. Are you interested in getting involved with technology? Don’t forget to check out our Student Developer Kit(link is external) and student project development grant opportunities.