Jacklyn Novak - 2019 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
IR Materials Engineer
LightPath Technologies, USA
Country of Birth: USA
I liked math and science in school and did well in those subjects. I have wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure exactly what inspired the interest initially. I have always been curious about how things work, so engineering was a natural fit.
I developed and implemented an infrared glass production process at LightPath. I am always looking to improve this process and I troubleshoot any issues that may come up. I also work to improve yields and throughput in all areas of production from glass melting to the finished lens.
My biggest challenge has been returning to work after having my daughter. I felt some guilt about putting her in daycare and struggled to keep up with everything at work and home. Now we have a good routine and she enjoys daycare. My husband has been very supportive and has been a huge help. I’m glad I stuck with it—I enjoy what I do and want to inspire my daughter to believe that she can do anything she sets her mind to!
Be confident—you know more than you think you do! You are not expected to know everything and have all the answers. You just have to be willing to work hard to figure it out. It’s ok to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
If you want to work in STEM—go for it! It’s a diverse field with many different opportunities. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t do it.