Natalie Kurgan - International Women's Spotlight
International Women’s Week at Senseye
During International Women’s Week, we want to put a spotlight on our female team members here at Senseye. Each day we will publish an interview with an inspirational woman and find out about their career journey, role models and aspirations. Senseye believes in maximizing effectiveness through multiple different data feeds. We also apply this to our people, in the belief that each person brings a valuable new skillset and new perspective to the team, enhancing effectiveness.
In the spotlight: Dr. Natalie Kurgan, based out of Upstate NY, USA
What is your role at Senseye and what are your typical daily tasks and activities?
I am a Condition Monitoring Engineer. A typical day for me includes meeting with customers to determine their needs and to work with them to find solutions for their data. Outside of meetings, I spend a lot of time analyzing data from sensors placed on machines, understanding how those machines work, and determining and implementing methods of extracting condition indicators from the data to tell us when the machine isn’t working properly. Then I get that all implemented in the app.
What has been your career journey to date?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, then worked for a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and finished off with a PhD in Electrical Engineering with a focus on biomedical engineering from Clarkson University in Potsdam NY. My work at the time was using sensors placed on the human body to determine if someone is in the very early stages of CardioVascular Disease. Though it seems very different from what I’m doing now, I was essentially performing condition monitoring, just on humans!
While I was pursuing my degrees at Clarkson, I was also teaching some circuit analysis courses at the same time. So when I graduated, the university offered to keep me on as a Professor teaching massive Circuit Analysis and MATLAB courses. I stayed for 3.5 years before deciding it was time to see what challenges and experiences working in industry could offer me – and here I am!
Who would you consider a role model?
It may seem silly, but Joan Jett is a role model of mine. We are both musicians, but more than that, she plunged herself into the male-dominated genre of rock n roll and wouldn’t let anyone stand in her way. I admire her fearlessness, drive, and ambition.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I have many hobbies, mostly involving the outdoors. I am fairly adventurous and will try just about anything; skydiving, rock-climbing, and white-water rafting, to name a few. I also enjoy snowboarding, kayaking, and camping in all seasons. I do quite a bit of hiking in the Adirondacks, and even keep a blog with all of my trip reports from each hike! I am also an amateur photographer and avid traveller. My labradoodle Juno is my constant companion on most of these adventures.
I’m a lifelong musician; I’ve played classical piano since I was a small child, which spread to flute/piccolo, bass guitar, guitar, drums/percussion, and singing. Music is my greatest passion, and I love learning any instrument I can get my hands on! I even built my own acoustic guitar, which I named Julie-anne. Before the pandemic, I was in an all-girl rock band and played in several other groups on several other instruments, and hosted a local open mic night. These days, I do bi-weekly live shows, but I can’t wait until I can play out again, and attend music festivals!
What do you hope to accomplish at Senseye?
Senseye has provided a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow my technical knowledge and skillset. I enjoy a fast-paced environment in which the problem is always changing, and that’s exactly what I’ve gotten here! As a professor I found myself getting bored of teaching the same material year after year. Here, I am never bored, and I get to use my capabilities to help people in companies with their machinery.
Continue with us this International Women's Week and read more about the wonderful working women of Senseye in our next blog.