Celebrating Women in Engineering

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
06/23/23 5 MIN READ

At PAC, we are proud of the diverse teams actively working to redefine the passenger experience. In celebration of Women in Engineering Day, we’d like to share a few of our women leaders that have taken their life-long passions for STEM/STEAM initiatives to make an impact onboard the aircraft. 

Emelie Andersson
Product Owner, Modular Interactive (MI)

Coming off the heels of PAC’s recent Technology Award from PAX International Magazine, Emelie Andersson has made her impact known. Working out of her home in Umeå and from Panasonic Avionics’ Tactel office in Malmo, Emelie is the Product Owner for Modular Interactive (MI). She leads a team of developers and designers that work closely with our MI Product Manager based in Irvine, to brainstorm, design, and develop this product from the ground up. What she and the team have brought to market is a fully-integrated IFE interactive design and publishing tool that allows airlines to create unique, easy-to-implement seatback interactives in new and groundbreaking ways. 

How did you get started in this field? 

I’ve always enjoyed learning, and I’ve found that engineering and science was something that really helped combine my creativity and outgoing personality together. I discovered that I was pretty good at these disciplines, and my parents really encouraged me to pursue what I enjoyed. When it came time to decide on a particular discipline, I have my university department head to thank for steering me toward software engineering. I’m glad I made this decision. It fits me and my skills sets. 
If you could offer advice to young women considering this field, what would it be? 

Don’t be intimidated! If you enjoy science, you can learn and pursue a career in this field just like any other focus or discipline. All of this is a learned skill, and if you have an interest in it, keep going and don’t stop. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve just by applying yourself to something you truly enjoy. 

Sushma Rajagopal
Manager, Engineering SFS
United States

Sushma Rajagopal provides immediate solutions for airlines requesting urgent attention to their software. In her role, she works closely with PAC’s Customer Support Field Engineering teams to troubleshoot, identify the root cause, and fix airline issues happening across numerous IFEC system configurations and varied fleets. Having been in her current position for the last eight months, she has found herself constantly learning, not only in her position but also from the amazing PAC colleagues she interacts with each day.  

How did you get started in this field? 

I’ve always enjoyed patterns and naturally identifying the logic behind them. When I was in middle school, my parents signed me up for a coding class during the summer. That is where I learned my first programming language, Logo. Using this language, I was able to give and setup commands to make different design patterns—it was really amazing. From there, I pursued computer science engineering for both my bachelor’s degree and my master’s too. I’ve also had great mentors who helped shape my personal growth and provided different perspectives on things. That is an important aspect, especially in this field. No one answer is the right answer. You can always attack things in different ways and come up with similar outcomes.  

If you could offer advice to young women considering this field, what would it be? 

If it intrigues you, start exploring it. The tech field is constantly evolving so it is even more critical to be open to various ideas and ways of problem solving. Embrace the continuous learning and collaboration that comes with this field of study. It’s always good to be collaborative, so seek out ways to connect with others and share knowledge. You may find that they can help guide you along the way. Even if the path is not completely clear, don’t be afraid to speak up and say what it is you want to do. 

Prachi Arora
Technical Project Manager II
United States

As the Technical Project Manager II focused on United Airlines Prachi Arora, is a pivotal leader that helps manage our United programs. Together with PAC’s technical and management teams, she works with architecture, development and delivery teams to scope, plan and deliver software based on customer specifications. She interacts directly with her airline counterparts at United to ensure that PAC delivers on our customer commitments. 

How did you get started in this field? 

I grew up in India and I was inspired by my grandfather who always read to me. I was intrigued by space, aviation, and astronauts and that really caught my attention. Since I was 5 or 6 years old, I have always been interested in science. As a young girl, I spent my time tinkering with objects like radios, computers, and TVs with my father and I knew that engineering was what I wanted to do. It truly fits my personality and my interests, so I completed my bachelor’s in electrical engineering.  

If you could offer advice to young women considering this field, what would it be? 

The only thing standing between you and success is the fear of failure. That is why it is critical that you believe in yourself and have confidence in whatever you want to do. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and as human beings, this is truly a gift. My advice would be to keep your heart open to learning and growing and becoming a better you each day. Life is a marathon, not a sprint—so be persistent and work towards your goals, and always remember to be kind to yourself. 

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