I met Barbara Martinez in high school. She was very studious and focused in the classroom, but after school we would talk on the phone about SeaQuest and U2 and other non-school-related things.
We kept in touch through college since we were both in Boston—she studied chemical engineering at Tufts while I majored in writing at Emerson. Every time we got together, I would joke that I slowly had to move my thoughts from right to left brain in order to keep up with her. She was incredibly science-minded and I really appreciated that in our friendship.
After Tufts, Barbara immediately got recruited to work at The Foxboro Company (now Schneider Electric) as a Customer Project Engineer. In 2014, she moved up to become Global Technology Manager, “delivering innovative product and engineering solutions within Process Automation/Hybrid offerings through interdepartmental, collaborative leadership” (from her resume).
I never thought I would get into science. I didn’t even take physics in high school, so sure I was that I would get into publishing. But after working in book publishing for six years after college, I got laid off. A marketing job popped up on Craigslist at a company called oneTesla DIY Musical Tesla Coil Kits. Between Barbara’s consistent encouragement about science and my friend Amy telling me that “Tesla was cool”, I applied. I got the job. Soon I was demonstrating Tesla coil kits at Maker Faires and fielding tech support questions from customers. I ended up becoming Chief Operating Officer and worked there for seven years.
Currently, Barbara holds the title of Principal Solutions Architect – Strategy & Innovation Hub, “accelerating development of outcome-driven services that help our customers met their Sustainability, Efficiency, and digital transformation goals” (from her resume). In this job, she is the research and development architect of Schneider Electric’s Strategy and Innovation Hub, “applying a collaborative innovation approach to curate service offers and develop organizational capacity for implementation.” Not only that, but she is raising two amazing daughters.
It felt like an accident, but now I can see that without Barbara’s influence, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue the job at oneTesla, let alone my current position as Marketing Specialist here at Headwall Photonics. Thanks, Barbara! Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science! #womeninscience #womeninoptics
by Marissa Dupont, Marketing Specialist, Headwall Photonics