Richa Viayvergiya is a senior in electrical and computer engineering with minors in French, sustainability, and international engineering. Since she was 13, Richa has had an interest in the environment, and her time at Grainger Engineering developed this into something greater.
Richa’s outreach started in the Champaign-Urbana community. While working in the power and energy lab in ECE, Richa helped the Society of Women in Engineering install solar panels in a local community garden that helped low-income families grow their own fresh produce. Richa helped SWE in understanding how solar panels work from the fine details to the big picture.
Additionally, Richa has had the opportunity to work with local schools and teach classrooms full of young students about solar energy.
“It all gave me a way to give back to the community that gave me so much. To be able to give back not only to my community, but to the people that need it most… that was probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”
After graduation, Richa hopes to help countries with accessibility to power sources that help communities meet their full potential.
Advocacy and Engineering
As the president of Women in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Richa has made it a point to be an advocate for all.
“It’s about advocating for women in the ECE department, but I’d also like to think of it as advocating for other minorities. Women are the biggest minority but that doesn’t mean we can’t advocate for other people and help them.”
In her role as president, Richa has organized events that connect current women in ECE to alumni working in the industry. Richa said there are workshops and events in the making that aim at increasing awareness of gender bias and to increase personal and professional development for members.
Joining a Family
For Richa, her fondest memories with Grainger Engineering are the opportunities she has received for meeting people from all different backgrounds. Having a community full of Grainger Engineers has been the best way to develop herself both personally and professionally.
“To have your own specific army that will rally for you whenever you need it and be there when you need someone to cheer you on...that is just so unique.”
In becoming a Knight of St. Patrick, Richa feels as though she is joining a group of people who are a true testament that a family of Grainger Engineers can accomplish great things. She acknowledges that having an Illinois education and pursuing her passion for electrical and computer engineering is an affirmation that she is on the path towards meeting her goal of making a true difference in the world.
“Value an Illinois education for what it really is and use it to do all the things you set out to do, because at the end of the day, no one is going to stop you until you stop you.”