Sandra is a system engineer in the automation and mechatronics industries, and now she has an assignment at VCC, working with safety in the software for the electric machines. She has a solid background in embedded systems development, automotive / software engineering, system testing, and product development, among other interrelated areas. Sandra’s goal is to work within product development with challenging lead and/or coordination roles. She likes to help the development forward by connecting people, information, and technology. Sandra also thinks that an all-round development is a secret of a successful and full of happiness lifestyle – “for me, it is very important that I always have the possibility to develop both personally and professionally, and of course having fun.”
Where and what program did you study?
I started at the bachelor program Automation & Mechatronics at the Chalmers University of Technology in 2004 and then continued to the Master program for Systems, Control & Mechatronics till 2010.
What did you think about your education program?
I liked my program very much since it was very broad and the variety of the courses was really great. Due to this, I managed to learn a bit of everything. In my class, there were 7 girls out of around 100 students when we started, then some students dropped off, but the girls stayed, so the rating improved during the years 😉 This was, however, not a problem at all, I felt that both students in the class and the teachers treated everyone equally. I knew I wanted to work with technologies already before I started my education, mainly because I really like to solve problems, to learn and develop new things. For me, the tech area is very creative, and I like to design things, and I’m so happy to be able to do it on my career path in different ways.
There are still fewer girls who choose technical education than boys. How do you think it can be changed?
I think it’s important to highlight the diversity of areas where technologies are involved. For example, all the technologies developed within the medical area, or sports, like the project at Chalmers University, where they have created different measuring devices for horse jumping. The industries where technologies are applied are uncountable, so it’s essential not only to show cars or industry as examples to work with.
Tell us about your career in tech! What do you like the most about working in the tech sector?
My interest in technologies started with my dad, he has always involved me in everything around, showing me how things work and gave me the opportunity to try it myself. The choice of studying at Chalmers was pretty natural to me, I didn’t know what I wanted to work with. I only knew that I found technologies to be very interesting. I started at Sigma a couple of weeks before I graduated in June 2010. My first role was as a Diagnostic engineer at Volvo trucks creating the fault trees in the fault tracing software that the mechanics use during the truck reparation. During these years, I had lots of different roles within Volvo AB, working with the development of the electrical parts of trucks and buses, for example, the rear lamps, gearbox, and high voltage charging. My responsibility involves both hardware and software solutions. My current role is as a safety engineer at Volvo Cars, working with safety requirements and safety documents concerning the electrical motor in the electric cars.
What do you find the most encouraging about being an engineer?
I feel encouraged when I realize the variety of what can be done with the help of technologies. There are so many different areas and directions, so there is always room to learn something new.
How can the tech industry become more inclusive?
Luckily I have no experience of bad workplace culture, but I have heard of others having bad experiences. This is a super hard question of how to solve this. Still, I believe that managers and people in leading roles have a big responsibility to clearly show that the behavior is not acceptable and to be examples and good role models by being equally inclusive and encouraging everyone to do it as well.
About Women in Technology
Technology is one of the most developed areas nowadays, as many new inventions come every day. The majority of businesses have now recognized that balanced and diversified work environment brings the best productivity. However, still, a small percentage of women consider technology and engineering for the future employment. Therefore, we launched a series of interviews Women in Technology with Sigma Technology’s female employees to show that women are making a big change in technology and engineering world. #womenintechnology