Erika Gupta is an operations supervisor in EERE's Fuel Cells Technologies Office (FCTO). She joined FCTO as technology development manager, managing projects which could lower the cost of production & delivery of hydrogen. She attained her B.S. in mechanical engineering at Boston University; M.S. in mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
1.) What inspired you to work in STEM?
I always loved math and science but I never considered engineering before college. I even started out a biology pre-med major. I switched to engineering after my freshman year.
2.) What excites you about your work at the Department of Energy?
The best part of my job is knowing the work I do is having a positive impact. Through my work I am able to enable some of the most talented engineers and scientist to create technologies which can change the world. It is so exciting to see the breakthrough technologies they develop become commercial through our continued investment in research and development.
3.) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
We must work together with our educators, the media and the entertainment industry to remove misconceptions about STEM careers. STEM is not all about formulas it is about ideas and creativity. STEM is not “dorky and uncool”, it is empowering. STEM gives you the power to create your own solutions.
4.) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Ensure you are doing what you love and what inspires you. Dream what result you want and keep that image in your mind as your beacon. There are days that will be hard, not every endeavor is a success so it is important that you keep your beacon clear in your mind and so you don’t give up.
5.) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
In my free time I love to get out of the city and go hiking in the mountains. I also enjoy drawing and painting.