As an aerospace engineer, Nishigandha is devoted to connecting people and resources across different parts of the world. As a STEM advocate, she’s dedicated to democratizing the knowledge for pursuing higher education.
Nishigandha moved from India to Oman at the age of five, and she has worked hard ever since to achieve her goals. As a young girl, she saw Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman to go to space, aboard the space shuttle Columbia for her second mission. She also saw Suni Williams on the International Space Station, where she broke the record for the highest number of hours outside the spacecraft by a woman! Nishigandha was very inspired by these role models’ journeys as aerospace engineers and astronauts.
While completing her undergraduate degree, Nishigandha was able to participate in three aerospace engineering internships at industry-leading companies. This gave her an early start to her career as she directly applied the learnings from her courses to build avionics technology. Nishigandha graduated top of her class and achieved the highest honors in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. After this, she joined a leading avionics company as a systems engineer.
Nishigandha founded Project LaunchPad, which provides students with resources on mental health awareness, financial mentoring, and career counseling. Even though she graduated with a 4.0 GPA, Nishigandha recognized that we lacked an infrastructure to holistically support students. She hopes to continue to grow the project to help both students and parents.
Nishigandha got a job as the Integration Lead at Collins Aerospace for the Displays and Crew Alerting system on-board the Boeing 777X. She worked to create the first-ever touch screen displays in the cockpit of a Boeing commercial plane! Her goal was to make the experience of flying massive aircrafts safer and more efficient, providing cutting-edge tech to pilots in the sky.
Nishigandha works as an Aviation Program Manager on leading-edge technology that is making air travel safer and more accessible. She is excited by the real-world applications of the technology she develops, which will help people save time by travelling quicker from point A to B.
Nishigandha gave a TEDx talk inspiring K-12 students to pursue STEM majors and continues to be a strong advocate for students in STEM fields.
“It doesn’t matter where you are today, what matters is where you want to be and your zeal to work hard and make it happen.”
Let’s get you started on your own STEM adventure.
Below are just a few resources to help structure your way forward so that you can take the next steps towards a future in science, technology, engineering, and math.