I Followed My Passion and Became a Robotics and AI Research Engineer at This Leading Company

Sponsored by Siemens

Shirin Joshi

Photo courtesy of Siemens.

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June 23, 2024 at 8:31AM UTC

What’s the most appealing aspect of working at Siemens — one of the world’s largest industrial automation companies, as well as a lead manufacturer of top-tier automation products and solutions? 

According to Shirin Joshi, Robotics and AI Research Engineer at Siemens Technology, the answer comes down to her team environment. “The research team I work with is a team of automation-enthusiasts, innovators, engineers and scientists with deep technical expertise who are passionate about disruptive technologies in the areas of machine learning, simulation, engineering, control and optimization,” says Joshi. 

“The work here is particularly focused on innovation and performing ground-breaking research for various technologies. My background and interest in industrial automation, robotics and machine learning completely align with the work I do here.”

Joshi took the time to talk to Fairygodboss about her role at Siemens, being a woman in STEM and how passion drives what she does. 

Tell me a bit about your current role. What are your priorities? 

I am currently working as a Research Engineer focused on Robotics and AI at Siemens Technology in Berkeley, Calif., where I am responsible for managing and executing various robotics and automation projects, collaborating with leading academic institutions and government agencies and developing solutions to complex problems. My priorities include robotic grasping, perception, edge robotics, manipulation and developing AI algorithms for robotic applications.

How did you first become interested in working in robotics and AI?

During my previous work back in India as part of a factory automation company, Cubix Automation, I was at a client’s site when we were asked how an assembly line could integrate a robotic arm. At that time, I wasn’t very acquainted with robotic arms, but this got me interested and, eventually, I ended up getting a master’s degree focused in robotics.

What type of resources or opportunities does Siemens offer to women in your industry?

Siemens is a great place to work. Since there are not enough women in my industry, particularly in robotics, women sometimes feel less confident to work in this area. Siemens offers equal opportunities to women in any field and encourages women to even take up greater responsibilities as leaders and managers. 

What’s something at work that you’re especially good at?

I am passionately curious about robotics and technology and like to work on complex and challenging projects and provide innovative solutions to our customers. I am especially good at multitasking, quickly grasping new concepts in projects and delivering them on time and without any compromise to the quality of the work. 

What are you trying to improve on?

I believe that a robot on its own is a dumb machine, but it can work as we want when we program it correctly. I am currently trying to improve the intelligence of robots as well as develop techniques to utilize deep learning for robotic grasping. 

What’s one thing Siemens does — whether a formal or informal policy or program — that you think is particularly unique or unexpected?

Siemens values diversity and inclusion and fosters cross-collaboration across various teams and organizations, internally as well as externally, and across cities and countries. This, to me, is very important because it encourages good communication, knowledge transfer and helps us to get a better understanding of what’s going on around the world.

What advice do you have to others in your industry who want to take their career path to the next level?

Don’t be afraid of others who try to tell you that you are not suitable for a job or that this is not a conventional field for women to choose. Be confident in yourself and your ability to do anything that you want to do, and then put your best foot forward. 


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