Dr. Aishwarya Bandla, trained in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, is passionate about developing patient-centric technological solutions and translating health technology to positively impact patient care. She leads a research group working towards wearable and digital health solutions for supportive care in cancer. She was named in the inaugural Singapore’s 100 Women in Tech list 2020, which celebrates women who have made significant contributions to tech in Singapore and for their ability to influence, inspire and impact on community and industry.
An IEEE Senior Member, Aishwarya’s volunteering journey started seven years ago with the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society’s (EMBS) Singapore Chapter which she currently chairs, and the IEEE Women in Engineering (WiE) Singapore affinity group. During her term as the Chairperson of WiE Singapore (2019 & 2020), Aishwarya and her team designed and launched a range of activities themed under three pillars – WiE Tech, WiE Mentor, and WiE Network. One such initiative that she fondly remembers is the ‘WiE Singapore Networking Nights’. As envisioned, this initiative brought together engineers, technologists, and tech enthusiasts from academia, industry, start-ups, and government organizations to interact and engage on a variety of topics. This series of events amongst others led to WiE Singapore being recognized as the 2019 Best Chapter by the IEEE Singapore section.
Passionate about mentorship and paying it forward, Aishwarya and colleagues, as part of the R10 WiE executive committee (2021 & 2022) conceptualized and developed ‘MentorHer’ – a first-of-its-kind mentorship program at the regional level. ‘MentorHer’ connected IEEE students and young professional mentees to senior IEEE professionals as mentors and was very well received. This idea stemmed from a WiE Leaders discussion which she chaired as part of IEEE R10 SYWL Congress 2020. The program was designed to also include a mentorship toolkit and went hand-in-hand with ‘We as WiE’ – a professional development talk series that was also co-developed by Aishwarya and her dear friends of the R10 WiE team. Look out for the upcoming ones!
Aishwarya adds that IEEE can be an excellent sandbox for professional and life skill development. In 2021, she was invited to Chair the IEEE Singapore Section’s Professional Activities. Aishwarya initiated ‘Re-Engineer’, a series of leader-led discussions on professional skills and emerging technologies. This was an effort to share with her fellow volunteers the avenues to hone qualities such as leadership, empathy, a growth mindset to embrace diverse perspectives, and an attitude of continuous learning.
Aishwarya cherishes the fact that volunteering with IEEE has connected her to a lovely network of friends and mentors across the region, globally, and across disciplines. Being part of international leadership events, such as speaking at the WiE International Leadership Summit 2020, and helping organize the R10 Young Professionals Sparklers Summit 2021, CLAP 2021, and the WiE International Leadership Conference 2022, she says, were rich and brilliant experiences in teamwork and collaboration. She is also part of the first-ever EMBS Young Professionals ExCom which she says has been a memorable experience working with a brilliant team from across 5 countries and 4 continents.
Reflecting on what makes being part of the IEEE network special and gratifying, Aishwarya says for her it has been the opportunity to drive conversations on technological innovations for societal impact, and collectively build solutions to global challenges. She has been on the steering committees of social innovation fests such as YESIST12, and the Returning Mothers Conference which each address unique themes of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She encourages volunteers to explore and embrace some of these excellent opportunities towards creating collective impact and your journey to becoming a global changemaker.