Marilyne moved from Kenya to the United States to go to school. Though she studied art, her parents always knew she’d end up becoming an engineer.
Marilyne’s art piece titled ‘Capturing My Moment’ is inspired by her family. She says she gave up a lot to be in this country, including going 11 years before she saw her family again.
She has always been fascinated by airplanes and once thought she was going to be a pilot, so it is only appropriate she now works in aerospace.
When did you know you wanted to be an engineer?
I grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and I always wanted to come to the United States. Growing up, I wanted to be a lot of things: an artist, architect or pilot, which I thought would be great because I’d get to travel around the world. I also wanted to help people, because my country is a third world country and people need to find new ways of solving problems, like getting clean water. So ultimately, I wanted to help people and challenge myself.
All my life, I’ve been fascinated by airplanes and even though I didn’t exactly know at that time that I wanted to be an engineer, when I did come to the United States, my parents put on my visa that I was going to school to be an aeronautical engineer. I went to the University of Central Missouri and majored in art, which I have always loved. When I graduated, I had no idea what I was going to do. Who is going to hire an artist? On top of that, the job market was pretty bad at that time so I decided to enlist the help of some of my professors. They suggested going into drafting, which was a combination of my love of art and my strengths of science and math.
I liked the challenge and when I learned about engineering it sounded really interesting to me. But at the time I was scared. I thought, “I’m a girl. That’s a boy field.” And I had a great advisor who told me that I had the skills to do it so I decided to pursue it.
When I finally decided to go into aerospace engineering, my parents said, “That’s what we put on your visa!” I guess they knew all along!
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.