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student headshot Pushpaleela

“I love to ideate,” says Pushpa, “and IDM is challenging me to create products that are not only functional, but also aesthetically appealing and marketable.”

Pushpa is passionate about frugal engineering— creating simple products that can do more for less and also have a social impact. She thrives creatively when faced with challenging constraints. At Qualcomm, for example, she successfully led a leadership talk, a microwave cup-making workshop, and an international women’s day event for 60 engineers. The constraint: she did all of this on a yearly budget of only $700! What sets Pushpa apart as an engineer is her ability to present engineering concepts in layman’s terms. “Engineering doesn’t need to be difficult to understand. We need to make it more accessible,” she says. In 2016, her innovative testing solution and unique presentation style won her the best paper award at the Qualcomm Singapore Technical Symposium. As part of her final year project in National University of Singapore, she worked on a smart cycle “cyclometer” for the elderly with multiple features as part of the iNEMO design challenge by maximizing the use of all the motion and won third place. This experience made her realize the need to consider the design aspect when developing products.