Preeti Jagadev - 2021 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
PhD Student in Electronics and Communication Engineering
National Institute of Technology Goa, India
SPIE Student Member
Born in India
I always enjoyed studying science and maths. During my higher secondary, I used to love experimenting with electronic instruments and learning about their underlying working principles. This led me to pursue a career in electronic engineering. During my bachelor's, a close friend of mine died from cancer. It came as a shock to me and proved a turning point. I decided to apply my knowledge of technology to contribute towards the health sector. From that time onward I have been working in the field of biomedical instrumentation and have researched technologies to advance the health sector.
Presently, I am designing a novel medical module which solves problems faced by patients in hospitals worldwide, as bedside monitors rely on contact. This module monitors human respiration in a non-contact way using infrared thermography and machine learning.
The journey so far has been filled with challenges. I was bad at coding initially, so I had to push myself out of my comfort zone to be good at it. I got my first job soon after my master’s, but I faced many rejections before getting selected. The biggest challenge was finding a PhD in my area of interest, at a reputable college. None of my friends were pursuing a PhD, so I had very little guidance. However, I figured things out on my own and finally got admitted to my dream institute.
I wish I knew a few things when I started that I know today. Whenever you do not get something that you want, it means you are meant to get something much better. Rejection is a redirection towards something better. If you are not a top student, that does not mean you are not smart. If you fail in a subject, that does not mean you are dumb. You just need to love what you are doing and give your best; this is the guaranteed method to achieve success. Do not compete with others; just try to be the best version of yourself.
I want girls to know that the only permanent thing in life is your identity, so please work towards building that. Follow your dreams, and don’t rest until you achieve them. Do not get scared of challenges; remember the diamond is a piece of coal that could handle stress exceptionally well. Everything that you want is on the other side of fear. The journey will be filled with difficulties, and every next level will demand a stronger version of you. You should either find a way or create a way, but never give up.