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How Childhood Curiosity Led These Intel Employees to Engineering

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In celebration of National Engineers Week, Valerie, Martin, and Vanitha share the defining moments that inspired them to become engineers.

Childhood is a time of curiosity, exploration, and discovery. It’s a time when everything seems possible. For most engineers, it’s this early wonderment that leads them to their profession—one that encapsulates unlimited possibility.

Whether it’s a desire to understand how the world works or the inspiration of a role model, the seeds to becoming an engineer, while varied from person to person, often happen at an impressionable age. For those who grow up to become engineers, there is tremendous fulfillment is solving tough problems and bringing innovative solutions to the world.

For National Engineers Week, we asked a few of our employees to share what made them realize they wanted to be an engineer – and what they love most about being one. These are their stories.


Valerie, Sr Strategic Technical Lead

Intel_Hillsboro_March_2019_Selects__MG_6746-600x400.jpg"My father worked at NASA with the original astronauts on the Gimble seat and in the Wind Tunnel, which showed me the innovations made possible using math.

My Dad learned a lot at NASA. His learnings led him to develop a chest plate for cancer patients for the Cleveland Clinic. In addition to being proud of him, his accomplishment intrigued me. What I envisioned from my dad’s work was that I could be a scientist or a mathematician. And he encouraged me, talked to me about innovation, and believe it or not, encouraged me to develop a chip…I was a teenager at that time!

In my dreams, as scientist or a mathematician, I could see myself solving complicated problems like my father. At that time in high school, engineering was an unknown – at least to me. I excelled in math in high school and college, but I didn’t really comprehend the engineering aspect of it until a combination of course work in college that showed the application of math in real-life problems.

Engineering isn’t just about the math, it teaches you how to problem solve, from the technical to the business. What I love most about being an engineer is solving customers’ problems."

Hear from Valerie


Martin, SoC Design Engineer


"To help me keep me quiet during church when I was about 8 years old, instead of giving me a phone or tablet to play with, my mother would write down math problems for me to solve. I began enjoying the challenge and would quietly solve any problems sent my way. Pretty soon my mother ran out of problems and had to invest in upper grade level workbooks. People would ask me what my favorite subject was in school and I would respond, “math!” My father, also an engineer by trade, loved taking things apart and one day decided to open our computer. I was amazed how a small green circuit board could make my screen light up with pinball. After a short while, I realized math and science came very easily to me, and I knew I wanted to become a computer engineer.

As an engineer, I love being able to get paid to solve problems. Debugging a problem, finding the root cause, implementing a solution, and seeing it work is a wonderful thing."

Hear from Martin


Vanitha, SoC Design Engineer


"From a young age, I have always been intrigued about how things worked. I was always curious about the direction the wind was blowing, what forms the rainbow, how does a car work. This curiosity made me question things around me. So, there wasn’t one defining moment that lead me to engineering, but a series of questions and finding solutions for them showed me the path to constructing and designing things.

The power to create is something that I love about engineering. The joy of giving something a structure and making it into a tangible device. ‘’Jugaad’’ is something that all engineers are capable of – the ability to adapt and innovate outside the box is a shared personality trait. From managing to make 4 a.m. maggi without a stove to building robots and bridges is something that only an engineer can do.  We engineers are hurricanes mixed with a little sunshine. That’s what I love about being who I am – an ENGINEER."

Hear from Vanitha
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