Jessica Guttenfelder

Princeton, NJ, US
Field of Work 
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
Job Title or "Student" 
Neutral Beam Mechanical Engineer
Milwaukee School of Engineering
BSc. Mechanical Engineering
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
Hi, I'm Jessica and I work for Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) as a Neutral Beam Mechanical Engineer. I graduated from Milwaukee School of Engineering with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

I have many interests, but what is common is that I enjoy a challenge! Growing up, I would take apart toys and small electronics and put them back together. There was always something fascinating and satisfying about discovering all of the small components of a whole 'system' and learning how it all works together.

I chose to attend Engineering college despite not having a clear vision of what kind of job I wanted to pursue once I graduated. I enjoy science, especially biology, and always felt I wanted to combine both the technical side of engineering with that of science and research.

After graduation from college, I was very lucky to have been given an opportunity to work in a NIH funded research facility where I gained experience using microscopes and other imaging related technology. This led to wanting to further use my skills with the equipment and I discovered a job with Carl Zeiss Microscopy, within the high-end microscope division. My role entailed working with optical systems, lasers, electron microscopes, and high-tech equipment.

As a Customer Support Engineer with Carl Zeiss, my day was never the same! Sometimes I provide Technical Support over the phone or via email to customers, other days I'm repairing and troubleshooting microscope systems, and sometimes I train users how to resolve issues or better collect data for their research using our instruments. What is the most satisfying, is being able to resolve a problem, or repair a system for a customer and the feeling I get when I've been able to genuinely help someone. It is also really fascinating to discover and learn all of the different types of research our customers use our microscopes for.

When I am not working, I spend my free time at the gym, cooking, and reading. My advice for girls, whether you are interested in a STEM career or not, is to: Stay positive, never miss an opportunity and always work hard for your goals. You never know where your journey will lead you, and the hard work will pay off.
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