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Niharika Shukla, 22 – FUNDED

Already having received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in May 2021, Niharika Shukla is now a graduate student at Cornell, pursuing a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering. When this Paliwal Club of 100 STEAM Scholars Fund winner graduates in May 2022, she has big dreams to help promote sustainable manufacturing solutions.

What is your professional dream?

My dream is to marry my passion for mechanical engineering with climate science to develop more sustainable manufacturing technologies and reduce long-term carbon emissions.

What does being in the Paliwal Club of 100 mean to you? 

It is a reaffirmation that women like me (young, immigrant, POC) belong in tech/STEM fields.

Women are underrepresented in the S.T.E.A.M. (science, tech, arts or math) fields and music industry. How can we change this? 

I think young girls should be exposed to STEAM in school and have female role models they can look up to. When I was young, I looked up to astronaut Kalpana Chawla and that helped spark my passion for engineering and science. This scholarship is a great step in not only recognizing women in STEAM, but also in elevating them to be role models for future generations.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

I have often been the only woman in the room in several of my classes, which made it difficult to form a good support system for school and career guidance. I hope that the Paliwal Club of 100 can become a network for girls like me to form lifelong connections with other successful women in STEM!

How will this grant from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals?

This grant is very helpful as I dive deeper into my career as a graduate/professional student at Cornell and continue my research in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department.