In the Field: Katherine Ruben

The phrase “STEM career” is a vague term that actually represents an exciting array of jobs. For STEM month, we at Girl Scouts of Central Maryland would like to introduce you to several women who work in STEM fields. They will tell you in their own words why STEM careers are the best!


katherine rubenKathy Ruben
Senior Staff for Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Education History: BSME, Duke U, 1982; MSME, UMD-College Park, 1986; MAT, JHU, 1995

What do you do?
Have worked in national defense for my entire engineering career.  Started in weapon design and now working in system design, engineering and planning.

How did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
My father urged me to go into engineering.

What is a typical day like at your job?
Spend about half the day working on technical problems at my computer and about half working with engineering teams.

What is the best part of your job?
Working with dedicated people.

What is the most surprising thing that you have discovered about your field?
Success relies as much on technical capability as the ability to effectively communicate.

What did you have to learn in order to do what you do? 
|Math, physics, writing, programming, program management.

What is one piece of advice you would give to girls about careers in STEM? 
Be confident!  Be persistent! Always take your seat at the table.

What is something girls should know about STEM?
Your insight is invaluable.  All designs are better when a more diverse group of people participate.  There is no better way to help others than to design new products that will improve their lives!

Were you a Girl Scout?

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