The best thing about engineering is you get to work on invisible changes to make a visible difference in the technology world

Ishita Chatterjee
Ishita Chatterjee
Senior Implementation Engineer at Arm
Automatic Control & Systems Engineering Alumna
Ishita is an ACSE alumna who now works for Arm in Sheffield as Senior Implementation Engineer.

Read: our interview with Ishita

Ishita Chatterjee

Why did you want to be an engineer? 

Growing up, I loved maths and science and while I was still finishing secondary school, it wasn’t crystal clear in my mind if I wanted to choose engineering or medicine, but I realised that physics and maths were much closer to my heart, so engineering it was!

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield and the Automatic Control Department in particular?

In my last year of my four year BE in Electronics and Communication degree at PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore India, I started looking for options available to me to pursue a Masters that I could connect to the most during my bachelors study. While I was searching for Universities in the UK, I was heavily looking into the course structure and the module description for each of them.

I absolutely loved the module structure for MSc (Eng) Advanced Control and Systems Engineering being offered by ACSE. I looked at various resources, suggested by my dad (who used to work in the British Council in India) to investigate the research impact and all other aspects of the University and the results I found were highly encouraging for me to apply. I wasn’t too sure how the city was before I came here to be honest except that my Grand-Dad told me that it is a lovely steel city and to bring back steel cutleries for my Grand-mom! But I must say, I have loved the city ever since I put my first foot on it.

Tell us a little bit about your role/s at Arm - how has your experience at Sheffield helped your career?

I work as a Senior Implementation Engineer at Arm in Central Engineering. A typical day at work for me is laying out a chip design. My main responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Implementing a design in a hardware environment (this is done by software visualisations)
  2. Floor planning what goes where on the chip (starting from logic gates, flops, memories and to every bit of wire connections)
  3. While keeping in mind that the design must meet target area, power and frequency, in the real world.
  4. Liaising with engineers from other departments, as every project requires multidisciplinary engineering.

Apart from the direct roles, I also aid and solve issues my colleagues are faced with. I also help in bringing new graduates up to speed with the work we do and provide continual support to them.

I am also the Team Arm Champion for the Sheffield Arm Office and in this role, I head and manage all our volunteering/community engagement/educational outreach and fundraising initiatives per year.

What has been the highlight of your engineering journey so far?

I was part of the Morello Team! Morello was our biggest test-chip project in 2021 and this is a big thing, because we don’t do test-chips too often! A test-chip is when we put together designs of various smaller computing components and assemble it to create a working system, where each component interacts with each other efficiently, progressing the functioning.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I am looking forward to owning many more designs going forward, in terms of leading the physical implementation on them. I also want to be a ‘guru’ so to speak, of some of the tools we use, so that I can help other colleagues when they get stuck. I want to slowly expand my managerial roles too and I want to continue to help others through leading community work as a Team Arm Champion of Arm’s Sheffield site.

What is your favourite memory of Sheffield?

As I am still in Sheffield, I am creating new memories every day! It is difficult to scan through all the beautiful moments, but as I am thinking more about my career journey the one that comes to mind is getting my job while I was still doing my dissertation for my Masters degree. I was just so happy that I wouldn’t have to leave Sheffield at the end of my course.

What’s the best thing about being an engineer?

You get to create things that help others so it feels great! More specific to my domain of engineering, which is Electronics Engineering, you get to work on invisible changes to make a visible difference in the technology world, which feels crazy to people on the outside but really is fun, for engineers in this domain!

We interviewed Ishita in March 2022

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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