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Women in Science Project
6243 Parker House, 2nd floor
(Located in a two-story white frame house)
Hanover, NH
03755-3529
Phone: (603) 646-3690
Email: WISP@Dartmouth.EDU

Dinsie Williams '97

An interview by Serena Chang '05, April 29, 2002.

Name: Dinsie Williams Class Year: '97 E-mail: dinb@alum.dartmouth.org
May Dartmouth students contact you? Yes

Meet Dinsie

Dinsie graduated from Dartmouth in June of 1997 with Honors in Engineering Sciences. She continued on to complete her B.E in Biomedical Engineering that August and a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering in June 1999. Her earliest college research experience was as a WISP Intern with Geoffrey Nunes in the physics department. Data from her work were published in the Journal of Vacuum Science Technology B. In her sophomore year she successfully convinced the Director of the E.E. Just Program that she had enough credits to qualify for a junior internship program at DHMC where she studied the correlation between Photodynamic therapy and the growth of cancerous cells, under the supervision of Dr. P. Jack Hoopes. She displayed her findings at the 1995 WISP poster symposium at the Top of the Hop!

Her Senior Honors Thesis with Prof. B. Stuart Trembly was on the "Ablation of the Human Fallopian Tube Using Microwave Hyperthermia" and her Masters Thesis with Prof. Keith Paulsen and Prof. Alex Hartov was on the "Characterization and Calibration of an Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy Imaging System". Currently, Dinsie is an Image Quality Development Engineer at GE Medical Systems in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Discovering Science for Yourself

When and How Did You First Get Interested in Science?

A couple of periods stand out. I know that when I was about ten, I envisioned myself in a white lab coat, walking along a hospital corridor in soft, non-squeaky shoes helping people get better. I wanted to follow the path of an aunt I was named after who was a medical doctor. Secondly, I used to take radios apart as a child just to see what was on the inside that made them work. On several occasions, I was unsuccessful in putting them back together so I knew I had to learn more about how machines worked.

Educational Background — The College Years

What Was Your Major in College?

Engineering Sciences.

How Did You Decide What to Focus On?

One day during my first year, I was browsing through some magazines at Feldberg Library when I came across a Biomedical Engineering magazine. At the time I didn't know how significant that event was. That visit to the library essentially changed my path in life. I started attending afternoon symposia of the Biomedical Engineering Society at Thayer School. I did not understand the details of the discussions but I found the topics fascinating. I have been hooked ever since. Discovering biomedical engineering was an epiphany for me. It is the perfect field that allows me to design machines that help provide people with better healthcare.

What Science-related Activities Did You Participate In, If Any? Were They Important and Why? Did They Make Science Intriguing or Generate Ideas for Continuing on in the Sciences?

What science-related activities didn't I participate in? I completed a first year Women in Science Internship, an E.E. Just Internship (two quarters) at DHMC, attended Biomedical colloquia at Thayer school, I was a tutor for SWE & the Academic Center, and I religiously attended E.E. Just forums at the Hanover Inn. My internships helped me decide that Engineering was the path I ought to take.

The Next Steps (Or, You Mean I Have to Get a Job After College)? 

During College, Did You Have an Idea of What You Wanted to Do After Graduation?

Yes, I wanted to work in a field where I could help people and learn continuously. By the time I started graduate school, I had narrowed it down to initially working in the biomedical industry or as a technical consultant in another engineering field.

How Did You Decide What to Do After College? What Were Your Goals, Etc.,?

I was eager to put my theoretical skills to practical use and fine-tune my engineering skills. I wanted to test out all the skills that I had acquired in my liberal arts studies at Dartmouth... and I'm glad to report that they work!

Did You Follow This Path? What Were Your Jobs After Graduation?

After graduation, I entered the two-year Technical Leadership Program in Design at GE Medical Systems. In addition to developing my engineering skills while working on design projects in X-ray, CT and MR, I have had the opportunity to be trained in Business Methods, Negotiation Skills, Business Productivity, Business Leadership and Business Development.

Today — Creating Careers

What Are You Currently Involved In?

The design of State-of-the-Art Computed Tomography (CT) imaging technologies.

Are You Still Involved in the Sciences? In What Ways? If Not, Why Not?

My work is in Engineering Design.

Does Your College Career Impact What You Currently Do, and If So, How?

The most important impact of my college career is that I have maintained a healthy amount of confidence in my ability to continue to be successful at "taking the road less traveled."

What's the Most Rewarding Conponent of Your Current Work?

I work on products that have direct positive impact on the healthcare of people world-wide.

What Do You Find Less Fulfilling?

I do not have as much freedom as I would have in a pure research setting.

Where Do You Expect and Hope That This Work May Take You?

In the words of Dr. Seuss,"Great Places"!

Finding a Balance of Priorities and Interests

What Are You Most Passionate About Today?

Making sure people get adequate healthcare everywhere in the world.

How Have You Dealt With Balancing Work and Family — Have You Had to Adjust Your Schedule or Look for a Job That is More Flexible?

I have been able to work with the amount of flexibility I get on the job.

Helpful Resources Along the Way

How Did You Find Out About Various Jobs, Maybe Even the Job You Have Now?

Interesting story... GE Medical was at the top of my list of companies to work for. One day I found out that a lady from GE Plastics was going to be on campus interviewing students for a scholarship (I found this out because someone on the staff knew I wanted to work for the company). I waited outside the office where the interviews were taking place and until the door opened. With resume in hand, I practically squeezed my shoulder in the doorway and asked for a few minutes of the interviewer's time. I introduced myself to Libby, told her that I REALLY wanted to work for GE Medical and asked if she would be kind enough to pass on my resume. She did just that, and I got a job with the company at the top of my list!

Tending to Your Emotional and Spiritual Well-being

Did You Ever Doubt Your Capabilities and/or Knowledge in Your Major/Career?

Never.

Lessons Learned

If You Could Change Anything About Your Career Trajectory, What Would It Be and Why?

I think I would have worked for a year or two between undergrad and grad school.

What Advice Do You Have for Current Students Who May Be Interested in the Sciences?

Complete as many internships as you can, talk to your professors about your career aspirations, find alumni in fields that interest you (what they have to say may help steer you to a great career or away from a bad one), explore other subject areas (they can be enlightening), create goals that will keep you focused, exercise regularly (if possible), try your best to eat well, and make sure you have fun at whatever you do!

Last Updated: 10/20/10