STEMinist Profile: Janna Eaves, Student, Materials Science and Engineering

Janna Eaves

Student, Materials Science and Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
When I started developing a passion for the environment, I wanted to do something to really make a difference. At first I leaned toward the arts, and then the sciences, and when I saw the Solar Decathlon going on in Washington DC, I realized I could make a more concrete, lasting difference in engineering. Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand also instilled in me an appreciation of production that couldn’t be satisfied in the liberal arts.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
Now that I’m in college, I’m working on a Solar Decathlon entry with the University of Illinois team, so I get to participate in the very thing that inspired me to pursue engineering in the first place! I’m on the grey water team, finding ways to sustainably re-use water from the house. This is definitely the coolest project I’ve ever worked on, even surpassing nanoparticle research.

Role models/heroes:
Ayn Rand, Rachel Carson, Anais Mitchell, Elsie Eaves, my mom.

Why do you love working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because I work magic on a daily basis. I can do things today that people used to attribute to spirits or gods or fantasy in the past. If you work hard enough and use a little bit of logic, there’s an answer to every question.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Stress is your worst enemy. The most important thing to do, whether you’re studying for a hard exam or working in a research laboratory, is to keep your cool and continue on.

Favorite website/app:
Twitter. I use it as a news source for only things I care about.

Twitter: @ask_jeaves

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