METALPOWDERGIRL

Soumya Vilekar
Posted October 10, 2017 from India
SCIENCE OF METAL POWDERS

It wasn’t long it seems, yet more than two decades when I first stepped into senior college for graduation. The town was a quiet beautiful hill station in hills of Kumaon,yes the same which Jim Corbett had named for his book "THE MAN EATERS OF KUMAON" . The place had been famous for tigers and also for HIMALAYAS and I loved living there amidst the tall green fir trees.

Those days India, was way behind the technology revolution and mobiles, internet, computers didn't exist and even landline phones weren't easily available.So learning and communication was all with the help of books and teachers.

My subjects were Maths, Physics and Chemistry along with the common language subject of ENGLISH and surprisingly on my first day to college as I entered the classroom,there were only 3 girls in the whole class of 80 students.

So was the fear of Maths ,as the branch of ARTS had more girls .

I heard Maths wasn't a favourite subject of girls there.

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Fast forward and after three years I completed my graduation and stood on crossroads to choose my career.

Although I had a liking for arts, music and dance, I wanted to be in a profession where there is no limit of reaching the zenith.

And I chose the field of science & technology and started working with my dad, who was an industrial consultant in the field of powder metallurgy , a lesser and rarer field then in India.

He had many patents in the same and he provided know how for the process of making metal powders to industries setting up new manufacturing facilities for them. Hence started my journey in the field of metal powders. Having done basic graduation in science and then straight away plunging into a specialized field was something strange ,yet I was determined to learn and learn.

Just to add there are no formal courses in India for this field except for few IITs who have this as a subject/ chapter in few engg streams till date . The then largest organization of USA of Powder Metallurgy called APMI also hadn't started with any kind of certified course and I started my training under my dad.

I worked with hi on projects and simultaneously kept learning .Years passed and gradually I could learn the basic art of making copper and iron powders , the intricacies of their properties and their variations which can cause and change lot of things in the final product.

But not being an engineer, I had another hurdle then, where I needed to understand the engineering drawings and designs in order to design and erect furnaces for the desired process.

Without losing a heart, I started learning the basics of engineering design from my dad while drawing on graph papers. In months I got well versed with elevations, views, and other elementary details of drawings . The advanced level happened when I finally learnt Auto Cad years later and could do the drawings applying the same technology which made it more easier for edits and changes that are frequently required while designing and drawing to do the alterations.

This journey of mine was rather slow as I got married in between , had kids and still the learning process continued.

Meanwhile there were process and quality trials going on to invent a new product which could change the industry of self -lubricating components for- ever..

So in 1996 along with my husband and father, I got a joint patent in the same field for inventing a process of making Partial bronze by reduction process.

Since then I have never looked back or questioned myself on whether I can or I can’t do anything in this field which is mainly ruled by men. Even today there are hardly any women in field of metal powders specially in the technical field of technology or research.

It is a kind of morale boost when formal education or courses also are left behind and one’s confidence gets motivated by the basics of learning and execution.

I always feel, science is very essential for everyone whether man or woman, we need not work in the same field but to know how a thing/object works is always necessary before believing or accepting it.

Even though I am a poet, author and a writer by passion , the basic learning of science has always helped me become more confident when I walk in the world.Even in writing I used the digital technology to empower myself and started with blog writing, social media platforms and other initiatives which brought me here to WORLDPULSE too.

Knowing the SEO's, tagwords, search names, statistics of different platforms, it becomes easier to know the impact of marketing on such platforms. It was more thrilling to learn graphic art, posters, brochures and many more things using the advanced technology of internet and computers.WorldPulse helped me with getting digitally empowered by doing short courses.

Whether Science, Technology , Engineering or Maths ,STEM can build your future , eradicate your fear of not knowing and bring a sense of confidence in you, whoever you are, whateversoever work you do and wherever you live.

I am aware of how to rectify a fuse or I know what happens when mobiles lose network or computer gets hung or how digital technology works,it instills a sense of confidence . These are the fundamental things which we ought to know which make our life simpler and easier.

Rather than fearing the ghost of Science , Maths or Technology we should befriend them like CASPER, the friendly ghost.

I think women should embrace and step into this world to devise and bring necessary changes.

After years, now when I have worked in all fields of my interest, I started with my own company of technology service providers where we all work together as a team and provide process technology of making ferrous and non- ferrous powders for welding, friction, non -friction parts, structural parts and automotive components.

This story was submitted in response to STEM Is for Everyone.

Comments 8

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Kelly Palmer
Oct 10, 2017
Oct 10, 2017

This is so inspiring! Too often women and girls feel the world of science and technology is off limits to them - you show them otherwise!

Soumya Vilekar
Oct 10, 2017
Oct 10, 2017

Thanks Kelly for joining in here! True often women feel the world of science is off their capabilities but instead it is our interest and passion, fear subsides when support is provided.

Neelia Seyer
Oct 11, 2017
Oct 11, 2017

Very informative! This goes to show that women are capable of doing anything. Kudos and more power!

Soumya Vilekar
Oct 11, 2017
Oct 11, 2017

Dear Neelia ,

Thank you for  the support .When a person decides and has faith, the goals appear possible and can be worked upon .

Sister Zeph
Oct 15, 2017
Oct 15, 2017

What a beautiful story and what a beautiful profession which you have chosen so wisely, I have been really  inspired by you and your journey but after reading this story I am even more inspired, thank you for being who you are my dear Soumya 

Soumya Vilekar
Oct 15, 2017
Oct 15, 2017

Thank you so much dear Sister Zeph. It is amazing to see you do so many things and I admire the way you show courage in handling the girls giving them support and encouragement inspite of the odds over there at your place. On either side of fence, what matters is how we help one and all without any selfishness and WorldPulse has done it well connecting women from across borders with love and respect. Im touched that you have been inspired by my simple story. Best wishes to you.

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 15, 2017
Oct 15, 2017

Dear Soumya,

It is special to learn about this whole area of expertise that you have learned, and for me too your story has been inspirational. "Rather than fearing the ghost of Science , Maths or Technology we should befriend them like CASPER, the friendly ghost". You have given me new energy to go more deeply into what is possible now with computer technology.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Soumya Vilekar
Oct 17, 2017
Oct 17, 2017

Dear Tam,

It is always so nice to hear from you. Iam always amazed how you derive energy and enthusiasm to learn new things and then adapt them in your work. You have truly connected sisters across cities to WorldPulse and doing a great job. 

May this energy get you more and more nearer to goals and let it make you more comfortable with computer science and tech..