College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Women in Cyclone Engineering: Anwesha Sarkar

Anwesha Sarkar in a lab coat and glasses, working with a microscope in a lab setting

International Women in Engineering Day is an annual celebration of the outstanding contributions of women engineers. The theme of this year’s Women in Engineering Day is “Engineering Heroes,” so we reached out to hear the stories of just a few of our Cyclone Engineering heroes, who are innovating in their research and inspiring and educating the next generation of women engineers.

Today (Anwesha Sarkarand every day) we celebrate women Cyclone Engineers like Anwesha Sarkar, an adjunct assistant professor for electrical and computer engineering, who works in the Nanovaccine Institute. She has been with the university since fall 2020 as faculty, specializing in bioengineering.

Her engineering hero: Professor Jennifer A. Doudna, and her mother. Her mom was a high school STEM teacher in India for 35 years and has “always been my hero from my childhood and has inspired and supported me to pursue my dreams.”

Her engineering superpower and innovative research: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). AFM has become a powerful tool to analyze biomolecules, biosensors, proteins, DNA, and live cells. It provides high-resolution imaging and helps scientists figuring out the topographical and nanomechanical properties of nanoparticles- which could find better agents for targeted drug delivery of drugs to specific locations to reduce side effects.

How she inspires future women engineers: “I want to inspire current and future engineering students to understand different biophysical discoveries and learn their practical applications in bioengineering.”