eBook: Women in Engineering - Book 10: My Three Journeys -- Finding Professional and Personal Fulfillment as an Engineer

eBook: Women in Engineering - Book 10: My Three Journeys -- Finding Professional and Personal Fulfillment as an Engineer

BY JEEWIKA RANAWEERA, PH.D.

In Book 10 of the Women in Engineering series, author Jeewika Ranaweera takes readers on her personal and professional journey – from Sri Lanka to Cuba to Canada – and finally to the Silicon Valley in California.  Her journey has been diverse and fascinating, as she describes how her engineering education, training and experiences opened new doors for her at all stages of her life.  Ranaweera is a principal hardware engineer at Oracle, working on cutting-edge technologies. She tells her story in a positive and passionate way that is interesting to readers of all ages.
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amaranath premasiri
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Book Review 


Author: Jeewika Ranaweera
Book Title: Women in Engineering Book 10: My Three Journeys: Finding Professional And Personal Fulfillment As An Engineer
Reviewed by: Amaranath Premasiri
IEEE membership status: Member
The reviewer is with Akon Inc, 2135,Ringwood ave, San Jose, CA, 95131 USA (email: amaranath.premasiri.us@ieee.com)
Book Publisher: IEEE-USA
Place of publication: USA
Copyright date: 2016
Number of pages in the book: 21 pages
Key words: women engineer, Sri Lanka


The author of this text is Jeewika Ranaweera, a principle hardware engineer at Oracle. By her profession she is a computer hardware engineer with extensive experience, and at the same time she is a loving wife, a wonderful mother and a compassionate social worker and mentor. With such a colorful background, she finds herself an ideal person to put together this easily read inspirational book for women who are currently in engineering training as well as those who are planning on such training, who wishes to pursue their carrier as an engineer.

The text consists of six chapters including a short introduction about the author. Each chapter unfolds as a narrative continuation of her life story starting from her childhood days until the day she sent this biography for printing. Introduction gives a glimpse of what she is narrating to the readership with a regenerative emphasis that she did make the right choice of choosing to be an engineer.

Sri Lanka: Her story of growing up in this colorful exotic island in the middle of the Indian ocean hints the early traits of an engineer and emphasizes why one should keep a clear goal in marching ahead with what one wants in life and with a constant positive attitude.

Cuba: The next six years of her life spent in Cuba describes each step of her professional growth as a young engineering student, and her life experiences in an environment vastly different from where she lived up until that point, with a novel cultural, social and geographical affects. The chapter unveils how her multifaceted experiences shaped her to be a carrier oriented, tri-lingual engineer.

Canada: Graduate school, marriage and Motherhood, gives an overview of key mile stones of her personal life. How she found the love of her life, and start managing the professional and personal life with bearing equal responsibility in both worlds.

Silicon Valley: Life as a women Engineer, discusses how she thrived the cutting edge technology with monumental work that lead to the significant improvement of computer hardware.

The text concludes with an introduction about the author, which further strengthens the fact why this book is an inspirational memoir. At the end of Middle three chapters she is highlighting the key lessons she leant during that time periods of her life. While the title goes as “Finding professional and personal fulfillment as an engineer” I would consider it to be ‘Finding professional and personal fulfillment as a woman engineer’ to highlight the fact that being a woman decorates the engineering and as much as it does vice versa. Additionally, I would suggest that the narrative would be made richer and colorful by adding a few photographs depicting certain major events described in the book. This is a well-written text for the purposes of emulating the readership on ups and downs as women as well as women-engineers. I highly recommend it to those in the early stages of deciding which carrier to be selected and considering engineering as an option.
Posted on 6/2/16 12:41 AM.
Yasoja Seneviratne
Jeewika Ranaweera’s book is an entertaining memoire of her life as an engineer that spans three continents. She relates both her achievements and her tribulations with humor and grace. Her positive and bold outlook on life and engineering was the most inspiring thing about this book. For example early on in the book as a young student in Cuba she speaks up to complain to none other than Fidel Castro that his security confiscated her camera! As a result she ends up with great group photos with world leaders taken by professional photographers.

Don’t want to spoil more interesting stories – but trust me – the book is full of them. Jeewika’s life and work are never boring. And when it gets hard – she doesn’t shy away from it – she writes about the hardship and what she did to get past it and shine.

Jeewika also makes hardware engineering relatable and interesting. Like the story of how she found a simpler and faster “recipe” as she calls it to program flash memory for her PhD research. Likewise she writes about her work on antifuses in Canada and finally high-end microprocessors at Oracle Corp. in Silicon Valley as a Principal Engineer.

Being woman software engineer myself – I find her achievements pretty remarkable and inspiring. For example – while I was quietly impressed that she earned grants and fellowships to fund her PhD – I was simply amazed that she finished her PhD in three and half years with a newborn baby at home.

She is a role model and inspiration. And it is fortunate that she volunteers her time to encourage the younger generation of women engineers.

If you’re looking for a “women in engineering” book to read – this is the one!
Posted on 8/30/16 5:09 PM.