The MEEP project aims to build inclusive communities. Diversity is an added value for the team in order to work effectively in synergy. Consequently, a 'Women in STEM' series of interviews has been created to feature all the amazing female scientists who work in MEEP and their paths into science.


Monika Raj
Monika Raj



Monika Raj is a Research Engineer at BSC. In this interview, Monika talks about her experience as a woman in STEM and as a member of the MEEP team.


How did you become interested in engineering and HPC? What was your motivation to choose your career path?

I became interested in engineering because I wanted to pursue a practical application in math and science. Engineering is not just about solving problems, it is by its very nature a creative profession. Because we are in a time of rapid social and technological changes, the need for engineers to think creatively is greater now than ever before. If you like to question, explore, invent, discover, and create, then engineering could be the ideal profession for you.

Looking at statics, we are certain that the amount of data or the information keep increasing. A supercomputer or HPC-high performance computing is composed of thousands of processors working in parallel. It responds to our increasing needs to process zillions of pieces of data in real time with quality and accuracy. In the ability to understand the complexity of a huge amount of information, coming from many sources, lies our response to some of the answered challenges of our society. HPC allows us to design and simulate the effects of new drugs, provide faster diagnosis and better treatments, control epidemics and support decision-making in many areas like electricity or water distribution or urban planning. The applications in technology and engineering are countless, from more energy-efficient buildings to better and safer cars and planes.

I am a VLSI Verification Engineer. The main motivation to become a Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) engineer is the digital world that consists of many electronic devices and chips. In each and every electronics device integrated circuits (IC) are used such as basic gates, memories, microcontrollers, microprocessors, etc. These ICs have application in Communications, DSP, MEMS, Microwave and RF, Consumer Electronics, Cryptography, Automobiles, Robotics, Space Applications and Health industry. So the demand for VLSI engineer is increasing day by day. In earlier days, there was no digital data and devices, but now the world is full of data and information stored in servers (means memories), thus the scope for VLSI engineers will keep increasing.


Do you have any advice or message for young girls and women pursuing a career in STEM?

Women have made some of the world’s most remarkable scientific breakthroughs. Their stories aren’t celebrated nearly enough, but it takes only a little research to find women who’ve excelled in science, technology, engineering, and math.

For decades, we’ve been fed the myth that girls don’t have the aptitude for math, science, and programming. Objectively, that simply isn’t true. Girls need to know that they can be just as successful as boys in STEM fields. Girls are just as skilled in the subjects as boys are. The difference is that they need to know STEM is for them.

Yes, it’s a known fact that women are minorities in STEM. I am a female engineer, and I am a minority, but why does this matter, why do we care? So why let men do all the engineering. Engineers are making a few of the biggest advances in our society. They are solving big issues that the world is facing and some of the biggest technologies that are changing our lives. These are things that we use every day, as people, that make our life better. And with half the population being female, we deserve to have a female perspective. It will only get better with a female perspective because it will be broader.

Yes, there are times when women in the STEM field feel alone and feel they don’t fit in. But my advice would be not to dial into negative nor in those frequencies. None of the men are born with the required skill set, but they develop it by hard work and perseverance. The same simple steps need to be followed by women. And as society we ought to encourage women to work harder, take interest in STEM, make their opinions and perspectives valued, encourage them to take leadership roles and constantly tell them they can do it.