Anoopoma Bhowmik

Anoopoma Bhowmik - 2020 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

Senior Project Manager and Engineering Leadership Program Supervisor
Edmund Optics, Inc., USA

SPIE Individual Corporate Member

Anoopoma Bhowmik

Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
Educational Background: BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan; MS Optical Sciences and Engineering, University of Arizona


My father, a trained physicist working in aerospace, taught me to distinguish the ISS from the stars and planets in the night sky. He inspired me with stories of all the science and engineering needed to work together for a satellite to survive launch and in space. Years later, as a junior in mechanical engineering, I worked as an intern at Ball Aerospace on the James Webb Space Telescope. That was the first time I heard the phrase “optomechanical engineering” and it led to each opportunity afterwards.

As a project manager, I work on optical components and assemblies from the initial idea to the first time we build them to producing them in high quantities. Each phase has its own challenges and I enjoy collaborating with many different people every day. As an engineering supervisor, I lead a program that trains scientists and engineers who’ve just joined the company. I work with our management team to create customized projects that combine their skills and interests with critical company initiatives.

We’re all making the best choice we can with the information and resources we have at the time. So when you’re making a decision about a school, a major, a degree, or a job—decide if it puts you on a path that helps you grow. With this continuous-learner mindset, you can remove a lot of pressure and anxiety from making the “one right choice for the rest of your life” while pursuing your passion and remaining flexible to new opportunities as they develop.

Participate! If you can’t see, say “excuse me” and move closer. If you have something to ask or say, raise your hand and get their attention. Speak clearly and loud enough to be heard. You have a unique perspective and set of skills that no one else has and it’s your responsibility to contribute them. If and when you make a mistake or it doesn’t go according to plan— learn from it and keep going. Don’t ever hold yourself back from engaging with the opportunity in front of you. We need you!

Networking is so much more than just exchanging business cards or contact information. Find ways to help each other along the journey. If you can teach someone something you already know—do it! If you can recommend someone for a project—don’t hesitate! Everyone has been helped on their path to success, so as soon as you can partner or mentor or teach or sponsor—be that support for someone else. You’ll create new opportunities both for them and for yourself.

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