A Look at a Few Undergraduate Students
In the last six years, our department has seen a remarkable 50 percent increase in the number of enrolled women undergraduate students, and we are now ahead of the national curve for mechanical engineering departments. MechSE’s undergraduates in ME and EM are an impressive group, and the young women among them play a vital role in making the department a top ten program. Through academic excellence, leadership in student organizations, unique internships, creative outreach, and much more, they continually achieve greatness.
Taylor Tucker, senior in engineering mechanics and a prolific MechSE blogger, spent one summer assisting an aircraft mechanic in a full-service hangar at Blodgett Memorial Airport in Houghton Lake, Michigan. Her work involved helping with annual inspections – cleaning or replacing spark plugs, changing oil, and checking the condition of the engine mount, gaskets, and seals. Taylor was also an undergrad assistant in Assistant Professor Kelly Stephani’s lab, researching particle collisions in a Mars atmosphere, and she is ambitiously working toward her private pilot’s license.
In 2015, a new organization launched to support the growing number of women undergraduate students. Women in MechSE was created for and by MechSE women to share experiences and learn about career opportunities. The group originally began as a committee under ASME, co-directed by undergrads Kea Evans and Sandra Gonzalez. They believed that leadership among women in MechSE had decreased, so they wanted to create a group that would encourage it. Through career fairs, leadership events, company visits, lunches with women faculty, and weekly meetings, the group provides opportunities to explore career paths and encourages women to join other MechSE RSOs that have been predominately male in the past.