While studying in Peru, Jainita’s perspective changed on how she could help make a positive impact as an engineer
Rising senior at Texas A&M, Chauhan seeks to help solve the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges
DES MOINES, IA, USA, July 22, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — “Intelligence, enthusiasm, talent, and drive are just some of the attributes Jainita Chauhan shares with the two women who made her Aspire2STEAM scholarship possible—Jean O’Neill and her mother Bennie Jean Schladoer O’Neill,” said Cheryl O’Donoghue, CEO at Aspire2STEAM. “In Jainita’s case she uses her engineering instincts, including an intense passion for efficiency and improvement, to create solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.”
Jainita plans to use her education and work experiences to help solve the “14 Grand Challenges” set forth by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE published a list of global grand challenges facing society in this century. These include game-changing challenges that could dramatically improve life for everyone such as make solar energy affordable, provide energy from fusion, manage the nitrogen cycle, provide access to clean water, prevent nuclear terror, and more. The major aim of this published list is to inspire a new generation of creative minds, innovators, and changemakers. At the end of her freshman year at Texas A&M University, Chauhan was given the opportunity to represent the College of Engineering and the University at the 2019 NAE Global Grand Challenges Summit in London, United Kingdom. She was one of only two students from the University selected to attend.
The theme of the summit was “Engineering in an Unpredictable World,” with two subthemes: 1) Will AI and other transformational technologies change humanity for the better? and 2) Can we sustain 10 billion people? Over 900 next-generation engineers, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers representing engineering academies from the United Kingdom, United States, and China participated in the event, which culminated in a hackathon competition to solve one of the NAE’s Grand Challenges or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“I came home from the summit with a desire to grow my cultural competency and help make an impact on the world from a broader perspective,” said Jainita. In December 2019, she worked with other engineering students from Texas A&M and Purdue Universities to design a water system for a rural community in Honduras without access to clean water. The group mapped and measured the elevation of 7 kilometers of land, then used GPS mapping software to design the water system over the course of 5 days. The project was a success.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when international travel all but halted, Jainita stayed active and focused on using her engineering mind to address world issues. She began conducting research in her university’s Applied Cognitive and Ergonomics Lab, where she led the research project of Resilience of Incident Management Teams during COVID-19. She completed the research over the course of six months and compiled the findings in a conference paper proposal to present at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting in October 2021. According to Jainita, “It is my hope that the research would be extremely beneficial to Incident Management Teams and first responders still coping with the extremities of the virus and future public health crises.” Additionally, Jainita presented her research findings at Student Research Week at Texas A&M—the largest student-led research symposium in the nation. She was awarded first place in the engineering undergraduate competition.
Jainita is on track to graduate in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Engineering Project Management. She is also pursuing the International Engineering Certification. During her college years, she has participated in three full-time summer internships at II-VI Marlow, a full-time internship at Raytheon Technologies, a part-time co-op at Raytheon Technologies, and is currently participating in another full-time internship at Raytheon. Academically, each semester she has consistently earned honor roll distinctions. Her post-college goal is to pursue a role in Engineering Project Management so she can impact large-scale projects and systems that, ultimately, shape everyday processes and procedures in multiple industries.
Jainita’s scholarship was sponsored by Jean O’Neill, a multi-year award-winning leader in the technology space, and her mother Bennie Jean Schladoer O’Neill who passed earlier this year at the age of 87.
“I am fearlessly passionate about two things: the technology Channel and enabling Women in STEM,” said Jean O’Neill. “My mother, Bennie, was fearlessly passionate about life, hard work, and helping others get ahead. She would have been so impressed by Jainita. It’s very humbling to support such an extraordinary young woman as she completes her engineering degree and makes her way into the world.”
Aspire2STEAM (formerly known as Mission Sisters Who Work) is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We provide scholarships and mentoring to young women and girls who are working hard—aspiring—to achieve careers that require education in science, tech, engineering, the arts or math…and they could really use a hand up over the incredible barriers of student debt and rising education costs, and the real, ever-present opportunity barriers that still keep them out of most male-dominated industries. These young women are doing their part, let’s help them by doing ours.
Donate now at Aspire2STEAM.org/donate/. Your kindness is a catalyst for change and empowerment for the young women and girls we serve.
Jainita Chauhan, ASPIRER Scholarship Recipient