Women in Engineering: An Interview With Wenquan Che
It’s no secret: Engineering is not just a man’s world. Perceptions – along with demographics - are shifting, and Wiley are proudly part of the movement to raise the profile of women in engineering, to inspire future generations.
Here, we celebrate engineering researchers in a collection of interviews with authors, editors, editorial board members, and society contacts. In this piece, we meet Wenquan Che, Editor-in-Chief of Microwave & Optical Technology Letters.
Q. Name, job title & area of research/work?
A. Wenquan Che, a professor in the field of electromagnetics and microwave technology.
Q. How or why did you choose Engineering as a career path/area of study?
A. When I went to university after graduation from high school, I did not know exactly the real technical merits and application fields of electrical engineering. The real reason may lie in the fact that I like physics very much, which conveys the rules of the natural world. In this way, I selected the electric engineering eventually as the major of my undergraduate study.
Q. What inspires you about Engineering?
A. The reason that inspires me about engineering is my interest in physics, a powerful tool to explore the natural rules of the world. Another reason that inspired me was probably more job opportunities after graduation at that time. Generally, interests are always the biggest driving force, while on the other hand, knowing more would inspire more interest.
Q. What challenges do women face in the Engineering professions/academia?
A. There would be no big difference of challenges for women and men, if only in terms of engineering itself. Women and men have the same level of intelligence. The challenge for women is the balance between their career, family and children, if they hope to move to higher position. In addition, few women members in evaluation committees also result in fewer women in higher level of the positions.
Q. What is the ratio of female to male in your workplace/faculty?
A. At the lecturer level, the ratio is 25%; at a professor level, it is 15% or less.
Q. What is the most exciting thing about your job?
A. When I was only one researcher, new research breakthroughs usually were very exciting. As a senior professor in a university now two things are exciting: my own research breakthroughs and an the wonderful results by my students
Q. What does a typical day in your job involve?
A. As a professor in the university, I have been quite busy. A typical working day for me involves having discussions with my students, reading scientific references, talking about the project progress with team members, and doing some administrative and academic volunteer work
Q. What kind of impact would bring you great satisfaction in your work?
A. To do some useful scientific research and educate excellent students.
Q. What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?
A. To make life more convenient and the world more peaceful.
Q. What would you say to girls in school/college who may be considering Engineering as a career choice/study option?
A. Please follow your mind, try to do what you want and be whom you want to be. No matter whether you’re a girl or a boy, remember that what makes the difference is not your gender, but your motivation and the effort you put forward. Engineering is not created only for men; its open for women too. No intelligence difference is observed for women and men in field of engineering. The only difference is how far you want to go.