A 29-year-old Lana Stekovic, who was born in Sarajevo, is considered as one of the most prospective young scientists in the US state of Illinois.
She has been living in the US for the past 18 years and she is preparing her PhD work at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Urbana-Champaign University in Illinois (UUIC) at the moment.
Her brother, Goran Stekovic, is also an award-winning construction engineer and he is currently working for the company HDR Engineering in Charlotte, the state of North Carolina.
“I was 11 years old when we came to the United States and it was very difficult for me to get used to life here. I continued attending elementary school after our arrival in America. We started with the usual knowledge tests. Since my knowledge in the field of mathematics was much better than the knowledge of other students, I received scholarship to go to private elementary school,” stated Stekovic.
She learned and practiced math as a hobby with her brother. She said that curiosity about mathematics, mechanics and physics bak then made her research the work of machines and engines.
Lana and her brother Goran completed their faculty education back in 2013. After her faculty, Lana worked at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for two years and she decided to go to masters and doctorate at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois. It is one of the most renowned faculties in the field of engineering in the US.
“I am well aware of the fact that there are not many women in this profession, but that was not a problem for me. Being a woman in a profession that is consisted mostly out of men is not easy, since I had to work harder to find my place among all that men. During my studies, I became a member of Tau Beta Pi. This was a very big step because it is one of the oldest student organizations that receives only the best young engineers in the US. You have to be at the very top, or among the top three students in the field, in order to become a part of this organization,” noted Lana.
When it comes to the United States, she stated that a lot of effort and hard work is expected from people, and that the US offers numerous opportunities for young people to succeed.
“I always miss my Sarajevo and Bascarsija. I visit my family and friends in Sarajevo every couple of years. Also, I have many friends from BiH in America, and they are now in Chicago, New York, St Louis and other cities,” concluded Stekovic.