Meet Preethy Parthasarathy: Utah Alum & Professional Engineer

Preethy Spotlight 2 

Preethy Parthasarathy (Ph.D., '13) came to the University of Utah in 2005 from the beautiful coastal Indian state, Kerala. Preethy majored in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in Kerala, and then came to Salt Lake City to work on her graduate work in the Materials Science & Engineering field. After receiving her Ph.D. degree in the spring of 2013 she began working in industry for the Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon. She plans on spending the next few years in industry before doing basic core research. During her free time, Preethy enjoys pursuing Indian classical art forms. 

We recently interviewed Preethy about her experiences here at the U and in the workforce. Meet Preethy Parthasarathy our MSE Alumni Spotlight of the month.

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of Materials Science & Engineering? What interested you in the program here at the University of Utah?

A: As the names implies, the field incorporates the whole wide world of materials. Almost all the technology development or research industries need us, Materials Scientists. I had done some research while applying to graduate schools, and I ultimately chose the University of Utah because of one of my family's friends just graduated from Metallurgy program at the U and I also saw the list of professors with interesting research areas. 

Q: How did your experiences at the University of Utah prepare you for your current position? 

A: Intel is based on meritocracy. Those who work smart/hard get recognized. Doing Ph.D. work at the University of Utah, especially under Dr. Anil Virkar, made it very easy to get adapted to this kind of work ethic and culture. Dr. Virkar always has very high expectations of his students and living up to the expectations is a big task. This training prepares you to be successful. 

Q: What are some of your favorite memories of the University of Utah and Salt Lake City?

A: I miss the snow. Also we had a small group of music enthusiasts. We miss our jamming sessions. I also miss my almost frequent trips to Moab and the canyons. 

Q: What was the toughest course you took in the MSE program? What did you learn from it?

A: Hands down it was MSE 7041 and MSE 7042: Materials Kinetics I and II. Those laid the foundation for my graduate research. 

Q: As a woman in the field of Materials Science & Engineering what advice would you other women interested in this field of study?

A: I do not think I need to give special advice to women who are interested. There is nothing that is stopping women to pursuing science. Materials Science is a very vast field. This field is very fascinating as it deals with various materials and their properties. You would be amazed as to what all you can do with these materials. The possibilities are truly endless, when it comes to choosing a speciality. The more exposure you have, the better you can find your niche. 

Q: What clubs, organizations and/or societies were you a part of here at the University?

A: Golden Key international honour society, Graduate SAC, Indian Students Association and ISC. 

Q: What advice would you give anyone interested in pursuing this field of study?

A: The advice is the same for whoever has science as their passion. We need more people pursuing Materials Science and Engineering, because this field has a lot to offer. 

Q: What is your title at your current job? What is it that you do? What do you enjoy about it?

A: I am a Module and Integration, Yield Engineer. My job is to reduce defects on silicon test wafers using wet etch chemistry. This will help optimize yield in silicon chip manufacturing/production.

Those wishing to contact Preethy may do so by e-mail