Last weekend I participated in my first Society of Women Engineers (SWE) conference. I attended the 2013 Region C Conference held in Dallas, TX. It was such a great experience. I kicked off the weekend with a tour of Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems’ Advanced Products Center (APC) and specifically the Microwave Automated Factory (MAF). In theory I knew some of the manufacturing process of boards, but seeing it in person is a whole new experience. We began the tour by donning long coats, hairnets, face masks, and safety glasses in addition to a thorough shoe cleaning. Next, we entered the factory and saw the assembly process including pick and place, reflow, epoxy, cleaning, gold wire bonding and more. Again, knowing the basics of the process is so different from looking under microscopes at each process and seeing the board grow. The tour left me even more excited about electrical engineering as a whole.
The next day, we were treated to a variety of speakers from companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Texas Instruments, Chevron, Hewlett Packard, Dell and the Navy. I also got to see more about the behind the scenes organization of SWE. That really inspired me to get more involved in my local chapter at school. There was also a nice job fair where I got to see some more opportunities for summer internships.