Erin Winick, CEO
Sci Chic and Freelance Writer
Life at Work
Where do you work? I am CEO of a company, Sci Chic, which creates science and engineering inspired jewelry using plastic and metal 3D printing. I am also a freelance science communication and technical writer on topics ranging from women in STEM to manufacturing.
What was your best day of science? My best day in science was the test day for my first engineering lab class. It was in design and manufacturing lab and we got the chance to test our robot and see what else everyone else had created as well.
What was your worst day in science? Probably the day I doubted the path I had taken. I seriously considered switching my major during my freshman year. I felt isolated and like I didn’t have people to turn to to ask for help and I was not enjoying my entry level classes like calculus and physics. I am so glad I pushed through to my upper level classes and found a community among the Society of Women Engineers.
Erin Winick is a CEO and a Freelance Writer. She has a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida in Mechanical Engineering. You can follow along with her science on Twitter at @erinwinick. She is wearing her blue galaxy dress that she sewed herself!
What did you study at university? Mechanical engineering at the University of Florida
What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
– Completing my senior design project was big moment for me because it was the culmination of all of the knowledge I had gained from the years prior.
– Traveling to New York and DC in the same week for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Festival and the USA Science and Engineering Festival was a major moment for me. It was a combination of the two areas I had focused on and I got to meet an amazing group of people.
What does your average day look like? Right now I dedicate 3 days out of the week to focusing on Sci Chic, and 2 days to working on technical and science writing. The days range from creating new designs for 3D printing and exploring scientific topics for new jewelry to diving into a complex engineering topic to explain through my writing.
What is your favorite piece of technology or equipment you get to use in your job? Absolutely my Lulzbot Mini 3D Printer. I got it in 2015 and it was my first 3D printer I owned.
Life Outside of Lab
Where did you grow up? Tampa, FL
What profession did you think you would be when you were a kid? I was the kid that always stressed out about this question and never really had a solid answer. I considered everything from jobs in the science fields to journalism positions.
What do you do to relax outside of lab? I love hiking and nature in general. As a kid all of our family trips were hiking and birding based and this has stayed with me. This past summer I actually visited 10 national parks and made 2 cross country drives.
Erin visiting John Deere corporate headquarters during her engineering internship.
Do you have any pets? I wish, but not right now.
Do you have any fun hobbies? I actually do a lot of sewing! I sew everything from everyday clothes to costumes. I always sewed my Halloween costumes growing up. It goes along with my overall love of making things.
Tell us a little bit about your family… I have a boyfriend of 6 years who is an immensely creative writer/blogger/ghost writer. He keeps me balanced when I get deep into engineering.
Is there any one event or person who/that made you want to be in STEM? It was more a combination of events, but one person that inspired me was my grandfather. He actually passed away before I was born, but his legacy was carried on through my family. He worked on the Saturn and shuttle programs but died before the launch of the first shuttle. My whole family has hugely valued the space program because of him and really made me appreciate science and engineering.
What is your best advice for girls interested in science? Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help! There is a huge community of people out there who want to see you succeed. Do not feel like you are alone.
Erin hiking in Yosemite National Park during one of her summer internships in California
Why do you think it is important to have more women in STEM? I think that the more women there are in the field, the culture of more STEM institutions will shift to be more accepting of women. Many companies and labs are still working to create an equal and fair environment and woman should not be driven out because of this.Additionally, I think many women out there would love a career in the STEM fields but do not get a true picture of what the job entails at a young enough age to pursue the career. We need to expose young girls to what science and engineering jobs involve so they can decide if they might enjoy it.
Why were your drawn to science? Did you ever consider another career path? How close was your schooling related to your current job? I am passionate about making new things and engineering was the best way for make this into a career! I was very drawn to the journalism field as well but now get to work in that area as well with me science communication work and technical writing. I definitely use my engineering skills in the creation of all of my 3D printing and design work.
Are there any women in STEM who are inspiring you right now, and why? Some of the people I love following and look up to right now are Simone Giertz, Summer Ash, PhysicsGirl and Danit Peleg. Some of them I have gotten the chance to meet and interact with as well which is pretty awesome!
What is your favorite book? Jurassic Park, The Martian, Ready Player One
What is your favorite desk snack? Smoothies
What is your favorite cartoon? Kim Possible
What would you listen to while writing? Orchestral movie soundtracks. I am especially into the Moana soundtrack right now.
What was your favorite subject in high school? Journalism/Newspaper
What is the strangest thing on your desk right now? A statue of the MailChimp mascot monkey holding a red pen.
What color socks are you wearing? I am currently not wearing any socks. XD
Organization nut, or curated chaos? I run a line down the center.
Any other fun fact about you…I pole vaulted and ran track in high school and love roller coasters
Erin working at her Lulzbot Mini 3D printer which she uses for her company, Sci Chic (scichic.com)