Dr. Chandra Bajracharya
Dr. Chandra Bajracharya earned her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University in 2014. Prior to that, she earned a Master’s Degree in Power Systems Engineering from Norwegian University of Science and Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tribhuwan University, Nepal. An experienced instructor, she has taught both in Nepal and the United States.
In the following interview, Dr. Bajracharya discusses her academic background, research interests and teaching vocation.
What inspired you to become an electrical engineer?
I was interested in science, math and technology-related subjects when I was in high school, and my teachers, friends and family always encouraged me to get into technical field. Given that very small percentage of girls choose to go in STEM field, it was a challenge for me to go into a profession where girls are not very much encouraged, and I was determined to take up that challenge.
What are your research interests?
While doing my PhD, I had an opportunity to get involved in research at the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, ODU where I was introduced to an exciting field of research, bioelectrics, which is the study of the effect of intense pulsed electric fields on biological cells and tissues. Apart from bioelectrics and pulsed power, I’m also interested in renewable energy, power electronics, smart grid technology and communication systems. So these are the areas that interest me most at the moment.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
It’s a great responsibility to be a teacher, and the role of teachers in guiding students thinking and behavior is very critical. When you work hard towards fulfilling that responsibility, and you see the students improving their skills, gaining knowledge and succeeding in their career, the sense of satisfaction, I think is the most rewarding thing. And during the process, you also build a bond with your students, and that is also something a teacher cherishes.
What do you feel are the most important attributes for success in electrical engineering?
Just as any building structure needs a strong foundation to be stable, engineers need an understanding of fundamental principles. For anyone coming into the engineering field, strong mathematical background, analytical and problem solving skills, and ability to think critically and logically are important.
What appeals to you about Capitol?
I find that Capitol is very student-focused; the class sizes are small, and the courses are designed to provide theoretical knowledge integrated with hands-on experience. Capitol being a small university has a family-like atmosphere, and that’s what makes the work environment appealing as well.
What are some of your interests outside of teaching and research?
I like to read books and watch sports. I follow college sports with enthusiasm, mostly football and basketball. Other than that, most of my time outside teaching and research is spent with my kids.