Sangeeta Murugkar

Sangeeta Murugkar - 2018 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Assistant Professor
Carleton University, Canada

Sangeeta Murugkar

Country of Birth: India
Country of Residence: Canada
Educational Background: PhD in Physics


My middle school science teacher first sparked my interest in physics. This interest was then cultivated by outreach activities I participated in at the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education in Mumbai, India.

I am passionate about developing new optical techniques to better diagnose diseases such as cancer, as well as creating hand-help optical tools for clinical use. I lead the biophotonics research lab at Carleton University where I enjoy supervising and working with my students. As a university professor, I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in physics. Other parts of my job include writing research articles for publication, presenting my research at scientific and public forums, writing proposals for research funding as well as developing collaborations with academic researchers and industry partners.

I have pursued a non-traditional career path. I started working as a product engineer for a telecommunications company in Ottawa, and then returned to an academic career later in life. The switch from an industry job to academia, in addition to starting out in a new field of specialization was difficult, but the journey has been rewarding and has been filled with many life lessons. Applying knowledge from my past experience in industry in new innovative ways, combined with hard work and perseverance got me to the career that I have today.

I always advise young people to follow their passion, and to seek out knowledgeable mentors. Networking is key! It is important to find a field of study that interests you, and above all, that motivates you to achieve your wildest dreams.

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

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