Farah Fahim has been working as an ASIC development engineer at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2009.
Farah Fahim has been working as an ASIC development engineer at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory since 2009. Farah’s work focuses on CMS Pixels, monolithic SOI (Silicon on Insulator) intelligent pixels, novel front to back bonding techniques and other photon science related applications. Before joining Fermi, Farah worked for the Science and Technologies Facilities Council at the Rutherford Appelton Laboratory, UK. Farah is currently attending Northwestern University to earn a PhD, and working on a thesis about ASICs for novel single photon infrared detectors. She earned an MBA from Open University in the UK, and she graduated with first class honors from the University of Limerick. Her research has been published in many scholarly journals and has been presented at conferences worldwide.
1) What inspired you to work in STEM?
My grandmother was a math teacher and she taught me how to do math and introduced a love for math for me. My love for math made me get into engineering. I find it logical, intriguing and challenging.
2) What excites you about your work at the Energy Department?
I love that my work is very creative, I find myself pushing technological boundaries to achieve the goals of my project. I am also proud of being involved in pioneering work which will significantly contribute to future advances in technology
3) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
My research in the UK showed that girls in fact do much better than boys in STEM fields at school, but when it comes to university they don’t tend to choose a STEM related career. It is probably due to the perception that jobs in STEM have a poor work-life balance. There are also several other myths associated with a career in STEM. Role models would definitely help engage more girls/women. Outreach activities are another excellent way of getting children involved when they are young.
4) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
I feel networking is very important in the field of research, getting to know the right people, reading latest technical publications and being perceptive makes a lot of difference. Serendipity plays a huge role too. I also think getting a mentor is very important, it definitely helped me a lot.
5) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
Well I don’t get much free time, I work full time at Fermilab , currently pursuing a full time PhD from Northwestern and have two young children. But I enjoy kayaking, travelling and reading.