Scholar Profile

Arlyne Simon

Voted Most Likely To:
Write a Book

Georgia Institute of Technology, Class of 2008
University of Michigan, Ph.D.

Currently Working As:
Systems Engineer, Intel

What do you love about your job?
Unmet needs for accurate diagnostic tests as well as the advent of smart, inter-connected medical devices means that a career in biochemical engineering can never be boring. There are always new challenges to solve, propelling the development of next-generation technologies. In my career, I have invented new cancer diagnostic tests, designed hypodermic syringes and taught lab technologists in Kenya. Today, I help drive design requirements for cooling solutions used in supercomputers.

What has been the most exciting part of your career so far?
In 2016, I was selected as a President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Fellow. Leveraging my biosafety and quality management skills, I helped two hospitals in Kenya embark on their bold journey towards ISO 15189 accreditation. What makes this impactful is knowing that I played an invaluable role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

What would you tell yourself at age 18?
Exhale. Be patient. Dream those big dreams. Remember dreams aren't dreams unless they are big. You are getting the engineering foundation you need to succeed. "And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed. (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)." Ask questions in your science and engineering classes. Let your brain soak up these principles because in 10+ years, you will be recognized as a trailblazing female inventor by the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

How has ACS Scholars impacted your life and career?
Yes, definitely! Thanks to the ACS Scholars Program, I received my first internship opportunity at Dow Corning. That internship was my window in "finally" understanding what chemical engineers do for a living. Thanks to ACS Scholars, I attended my first ACS conference. I remember being wide-eyed as I shook hands with Dr. Mae Jemison - the first black woman to go to space. Today, I remain friends with three scholars. We've cheered each other on as we completed graduate school across the US.