Did you know that women made up only 15% of the entire engineering population in 2016?
According to the National Science Foundation, only one out of every ten electrical engineers is a woman! With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement, it is ever so critical to find as many brilliant minds as we can to close the knowledge gap and sustain the technical industry. Collaboration has always been the key to tackling the world’s most difficult problems, and one way to succeed is to diversify the engineering population. This means targeting everyone, especially women and minority groups, who have the skillsets to become engineers, but may have been discouraged from it or never given the opportunity to become one.
Some of the (many) obstacles preventing girls and women from pursuing a career in engineering stems from a lack of role models and centuries-old stereotypes that technical occupations are better suited for men. To combat these roadblocks, we organized a Special Session at IMS2017 entitled, “Women in Defense” to highlight the accomplishments and technical contributions of women microwave engineers in the defense industry and academia.
The defense industry has relied heavily on microwave technologies for remote sensing and communication applications for many decades, and you’ll find that a large percentage of microwave engineers work in defense. According to our beloved Microwaves 101 site, they estimate about half of all microwave engineers end up in defense work while the other half work for commercial companies. Therefore, the defense industry was a natural choice to showcase interesting and cutting-edge work done by women engineers.
It is imperative that people realize there are many intelligent, hard-working women who have made tremendous strides in the name of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This session is just one way for us to highlight the great work these women have done in the defense industry, and inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. We hope to continue this tradition of hosting a themed technical session at IMS dedicated to women in microwaves. Please join us in supporting these exemplary women engineers and learn about their latest research in defense technologies.
Women in Defense Speakers:
RF Interference Mitigation Techniques to Enable Radio Communications presented by Dr. Kavita Goverdhanam
An Integrated Approach to Topside Design presented by Ms. Betsy DeLong
Cognitive Radar: Waveform Design for Target Detection presented by Dr. Stacy Beun
A Polarization Technique for Mitigating Low-Grazing Angle Radar Sea Clutter presented by Dr. Molly Crane
High-Performance Transceiver Components for Defense Communications and Sensing presented by Dr. Zoya Popovic
For more information on WIM events at IMS2017, check out: http://ims2017.org/about-microwave-week/women-in-microwaves/
Carolynn “Caro” Kitamura, Raytheon Company
Caro Kitamura graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) with her B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2013 and currently works as an Antenna Subsystems Engineer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems in El Segundo, California. As a student at UHM, she was president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Hawaii student section and continues to stay involved in SWE and IEEE WIM as a professional member. At Raytheon, she supports the production and testing of F-15 and F/A-18 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars. She is also pursuing her M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles to further her studies in antenna and microwave engineering.