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Raven S., 20 – FUNDED

Raven S. is passionate about sharing new, innovative carbon-capture technology and renewable energies with companies around the world to help diminish global carbon emissions. She also dreams of traveling the world, informing others of these new technologies while learning about other cultures and how to work the technology into their economy and society. The New Face of Tech winner is currently a junior at the University of Michigan, pursuing a B.S.E in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Climate Impacts Engineering. “Being a New Face of Tech motivates me to be the most safe, engaging, and open-minded engineer I can be — acting as best I can to be a good role model to other women in STEAM,” she says.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It reinforces my beliefs that any student — especially women — can pursue their dreams in any field, no matter the difficulty. Being a New Face of Tech will hopefully inspire other girls in STEAM and show them that you don’t always have to aspire to be in a lab to be a true scientist or engineer. You can travel the world and weave in other non-STEM interests to your degree and career, as well.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

We must focus on informing young women as soon as possible about the different career paths in STEAM and show them relatable examples of other successful, popular women in STEAM. Creating a more diverse field of women in STEAM is another important step, making sure no one is underrepresented or misrepresented. Hopefully, we can do this through education about micro-aggressions and diversity — in companies and universities alike. Once we increase diversity, it will be easier for young girls to see women who look like them engaging in COOL science across a variety of topics — from biology to aerospace, makeup/cosmetology, chemistry, physics, and even food-science!

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

I got distracted from my true goals and aspirations because I was following a path that I thought others wanted me to take — instead of what I truly wanted. When I applied to university after high school, I applied to a variety of fields — from mechanical engineering to aerospace — because that is where my parents, peers, and professors told me the money is. However, as I started taking classes, I realized where my true dreams lie — and that’s in carbon capture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Another challenge I’ve faced is continuously having to prove myself to my male colleagues — either in project groups or in labs. It has gotten better in recent years. However, recently, it seems much of the progress we’ve made regarding micro-aggressions and male superiority in my field has decreased and many have forgotten how to be polite and civil. Over the next year, I hope it will return to the path of improvement I saw in my freshman year, as otherwise it’s even more challenging to not only learn the material and demonstrate it to professors, but also to my peers when I try to ask them for help.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I stay informed on current carbon removal technology around the world and apply this knowledge to my new carbon-capture project team. In this team, we are building a direct-air carbon capture column that is teaching me directly how to apply what I’m learning in class to real-world engineering issues that many companies face.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

The funding allows me to pay for not only regular academic tuition at the University of Michigan for the Winter 2022 semester, but also for my study abroad tuition as I visit Iceland in May 2022 to learn about geothermal and renewable energy systems as well as their current carbon-capture legislation.