Having been raised in a family of inspiring chemical and electrical engineers, Elvira naturally pursued a career in engineering. Her parents, Klavdia V. Popova and Vladimir Ya. Popov have become her motivators, inspiring examples, and devotees over the years. She subsequently earned two master’s degrees in chemical engineering and in materials science and engineering from the Leningrad Technological Institute and the University of Central Florida. From 1992 to 1997, she garnered experience as a scientific researcher at Vavilov State Optical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia. At the Research Institute, Dr. Irina V. Tunimanova and Dr. Elena I. Panysheva were Elvira’s mentors who shared their knowledge and practical experience. Elvira, while working at the Vavilov Optical Institute and pursuing her PhD candidacy, helped in conducting research on the development of the UV-sensitive optical glasses (PTRG). She co-authored three publications and a presentation at the International Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Thereafter, she moved to the U.S. by herself, striving for a better future for herself and her son.
In 1996, she moved to the U.S., and she was invited to the CREOL at UCF as a visiting researcher to contribute to the photo-thermo-refractive optical glasses (PTRG) development. The move from her mother country was a very hard decision, but there were not too many options for continuation of a scientific or engineering career in Russia at the time. The greatest advantage of a U.S. education system compared to a Russian one was that in Russia, it was impossible to get access to an electron microscope or other such sophisticated material characterization equipment. At UCF, she and other graduate students had almost unlimited access to spectrometers and microscopes that greatly enhanced the effectiveness of study and research.
In 1997, Elvira became a graduate student at UCF. Elvira, while she was acquiring her graduate degree from 1997 to 2000, was working as a research assistant. Her graduate research was related to the synthesis of carbon nanoparticles and nanofilaments, and several articles and the U.S. patent #7,422,667, “Electrochemical Deposition of Carbon Nanoparticles from Organic Solution,” were subsequently published based on her research.
Elvira began her career as a materials engineer for Siemens Energy Inc. She flourished in this role from 1999 to 2007 and worked on the development and characterization of the thermal barrier, wear resistant, and catalytic coatings. Based on Elvira’s work, the U.S. patents #8,021,742, “Impact Resistant Thermal Barrier Coating System,” and #8,307,653, “Combined Catalyst for the Combustion of Fuel in the Gas Turbines,” were acquired by Siemens. As a result of her research, the catalytic elements were developed for the elimination of air pollution during gas combustion.
In 2007, Elvira had been promoted to the position of senior manufacturing engineer where she led the team for the development and qualification of repair processes for gas turbine components. She worked with thermal spray, heat treatment, welding, machining, chemical, laser, and waterjet companies all over the U.S. and in Germany. In 2014, she was appointed as the principal steam turbine service engineer of Siemens Energy Inc. Being an ST engineer, Elvira’s responsibilities include supporting customers for the repair of the ST components, providing the ST modernization and upgrade solutions, advising on the scope of work for upcoming ST outages, providing guidance on ST chemistry parameters, and analyzing ST chemistry issues. Elvira leads the R&D project for the development of new preservation and inspection solutions for steam turbine components.
During her work as an engineer at Siemens Energy Inc., Ms. Anoshkina Cohn participated at the Kaizen events when the team was able to significantly reduce the internal cost of the repair processes. Over the years, Elvira received multiple Siemens “You Answered” and “Star” awards for contributions to cost reduction initiatives, for successful completion of the projects, process improvement initiatives, and also by the nominations of colleagues for proactiveness and helpfulness.
Notably, Elvira holds three patents in the engineering field, which are her proudest accomplishments thus far. She is a certified Project Management Professional by the PMI organization. She is involved with the American Society of Materials (ASM), the Project Management Institute, and the Association of Chemical Engineering.
Elvira is a passionate promoter of science. In 2005 and 2008, sponsored by the ASM, UCF, and Siemens, Elvira led the 1-day Materials Camp for high school students. Both times the camp had great success.
Elvira and her husband, Marshall Cohn, share a passion for children’s charity. They are active in the Variety Children’s Charity of Florida, a chapter of the International Children’s Charity. Marshall is the acting president of the Florida Chapter. Elvira has a grown son, Grigoriy Anoshkin, who has an MS in computer science and works as a senior software developer.
Elvira attributes her success to hard work, persistence, family support and the opportunities afforded to her at Siemens Energy Inc. Elvira identifies passion, curiosity, and leadership by example as the main factors for her success. Also, Elvira is very thankful to her mentors whom she was lucky to have over the entire course of her career. In the future, Ms. Cohn intends to expand her knowledge in power plant chemistry and the balance of the plants. She is considering venturing into consulting. She also plans to expand her involvement in the local chapters of professional organizations and charities.