Easter Weekend

April 9, 2015 — Leave a comment

This past weekend my parents visited Boston for the Annual Awards Night at Wentworth Institute of Technology! This event is done annually to honor students and organizations for their hard work and dedication to their school work and the Wentworth community. I was honored to be the recipient of the President’s award for Civil Engineering and to be inducted into the Tau Alpha Pi honors society. However, the most exciting thing was that the Society of Women Engineers won the Student Organization of the Year award this year!Organization

It was really exciting to be honored for everything SWE does and I really enjoyed being able to see some of my best friends be honored for their outstanding work!

 

Since my parents were here this weekend, I took a couple of days off to enjoy the city! On Saturday we went to the Museum of Science (you can get $5 tickets at the info hub at WIT). My dad’s favorite thing there was the lightning show! They use a Van de Graaff generator to produce a show with lightning and sounds. This was a great representation of things we learn in physics (more information can be found here on what really happens: http://www.mos.org/live-presentations/lightning) Below is a portion of the final show! It is kind of blurry unfortunately!

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In all I had a great easter weekend and am looking forward to finalizing all of my work to finish off my last spring semester!

I have been extremely busy with classwork and visiting graduate schools this semester! It is very surreal that I will be graduating in less than 6 months! I have decided to pursue a graduate degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on Geotechnical Engineering. As far as I have seen my education at Wentworth has greatly prepared myself and former classmates for this experience!
Another reason why I have been extremely busy is because of the Society of Women Engineers 2015 Region F Conference this year! We hosted it at Wentworth on February 28-March 1. An amazing friend and SWE member Kayla Alden was in charge of pulling off this amazing and challenging event! We hosted over 450 members of SWE at Wentworth for a day filled with workshops, keynote speakers, career fairs, networking, food, and fun! Below are some pictures from this amazing day!

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Some Members at our SWE Botique Table selling our SWE workout tanktops!

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President Pontic was our morning keynote speaker!

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Manufacturing Lab Tour!

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Some of our SWE members at the Evening Keynote dinner with our Faculty Advisor Gloria Ma

We also had an outreach event on Sunday for High School Girls interested in STEM! This event is called Day of Magic and went very well! In all, this was an amazing day full of fun and I could not be prouder of my group of great SWE members!

 

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Surviving the Snow

February 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

One of the comments I got before coming to Boston was how much colder it is than Philadelphia and how much more snow I would see. Honestly I never understood that… Nemo was a pretty bad storm and we have gotten a lot of snow but I actually think we usually get more back home. It definitely does get colder here, but I also may think that because I used to run to and from my car where is in the city I walk everywhere. (Though while at work this past December the lock on the door froze on one of the company trucks and that blew my mind) But of course my senior winter here we get an intense amount of snow.

Snow days are always fun. The anticipation of whether or not Wentworth will call off classes and having that little bit more time to do homework, when lets face it you are just going to spend the day hanging out with friends watching movies and drinking tea. Now that I live off campus there is the fear of us loosing power and stocking up on food so you do not have to try to get to the insane grocery store before or during the storm. However, my room has three huge windows so I am able to open the blinds and lay in bed as the snow falls… it is like a fairytale. The little kid inside everyone comes out as you see grown college students playing in the snow and helping each other dig out their cars.

So far we have had three snow days and a late opening within six school days… I think I may be the only person who is sick of missing class! Even though it sucks to go out into the slushy roads to get to school I actually miss learning and being productive instead of trying to get homework done while Netflix and food calls my name. It was nice to be able to sleep in after staying up late to watch the pats game! I did buy a patriots shirt and wear it and my family did say that I am no longer part of the family since we are die-hard eagles fans! However there is a ton more snow coming our way and soon the piles on the sides of the roads will be taller than me (not THAT tall since I am 5’3″) and I will officially never want to see snow again in my lifetime.

Getting Ready to Pour

January 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

One of the major extracurricular activities I have been a part of while at Wentworth is the Concrete Canoe. Yes, it definitely does sound crazy… isn’t concrete supposed to sink?! Well, our group every year defies logic and creates a canoe out of concrete. We then race it against other teams, sometimes in pretty rough waters. One of the most exhilarating yet terrifying things I have ever experienced is sitting on that open water in the canoe waiting for the horn to sound! Last year we placed fourth in the races and sixth overall out of twelve schools.
This is a video of us racing – we are in the back and going the fastest!


Right now we are making the mold for the canoe so we can place the concrete to get the correct shape. We first start out by modeling the canoe in AutoCAD and break it into sections. After the sections are completed we print out the sections to scale and cut the sections out of foam. These pieces are then glued together and connected with a rod and then we sand it! That is the current process we are in now, which means when we leave the lab after working on it you are filled with little pieces of Styrofoam!! However, once this is sanded we seal it with plaster and paint and are ready to pour the canoe:)

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November 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

During the last week of October I attended my final Society of Women Engineers National Conference as an undergraduate. This is sad because this is my third conference and it really is a great experience, but I hope to attend as a graduate student and professional. This conference is a great way to meet other students from around the country (There are even a couple of schools from Puerto Rico), attend workshops to better yourself as an engineer, and network with companies and graduate schools.
This year we took 16 students (including myself) and our faculty advisor to Los Angeles for the Conference. The group was the largest we have ever taken and was definitely a challenge, but it was a great group of students and definitely worth it. Many of our students talked about opportunities to work for companies around the country and some even were offered co-op positions for the spring semester! We also fundraised for our section by selling tank tops, and while we were doing that we reached out to other sections so we could network and keep in contact with them in the future.
While most of the trip was dedicated to the conference, we did get to explore the city of Los Angeles! This meant that we missed out on some sleep, but it was definitely worth it. One night the whole club went to The Hardrock Café in Hollywood and after explored the strip! Here we stalked some of the actor look-alikes and took pictures with some of the stars on the walk of fame! And right before we left to come back to the cold east coast the majority of us traveled to the Santa Monica Beach to put our toes in the Pacific Ocean… or some of us went swimming! It was a great bonding experience and brought the whole group closer! I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend this conference and have such a great experience!
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Blue Line Extension

October 8, 2014 — Leave a comment

This summer I started working on a research project, the Blue Line Extension. This project is Professor James Lambrechts, a Civil Engineering Professor who focuses on materials and geotechnical engineering, and alumni Brendan Cioto’s project. Professor Lambrechts worked at Haley & Aldrich, where I am currently doing my coop, on the Big Dig and the Orange Line, so he is very knowledgeable about what this project needs and the best ideas to improve the city. Since Brendan and the other seniors who were working on the project graduated in August, myself and another classmate were brought on to help with this extra project.

The idea of the Blue Line Extension is to replace the D-line train of the green line with the blue line, extending the blue line west to Brookline. This would greatly relieve the congestion on the green line and help utilize the not so popular blue line. In order to sell this idea we needed to find the demand for this extension and the logistics of building it. This required a lot of research, meetings with tunneling professionals, and hard work to have presentable ideas and data. This experience is great for graduate school work and professional work, since it is similar to a project that would be taken on at a firm.

Our team has been presenting this idea to many different groups, ranging from the young professionals in transportation meetings to the Civil Engineering Alumni at Wentworth. It is a really great idea, and a great way to get practice in research, design, and advocating for a project. We hope to one day actually be able to have this built and are currently working towards that goal by presenting to people who may be able to help us achieve our goal. Tonight I am presenting to some of the civil engineering students to hopefully inspire them to pursue their dreams and push themselves to their limits to succeed!

Senior Year?!?

September 5, 2014 — Leave a comment

This week marks the beginning of my senior year, which is completely unbelievable. As I passed all of the freshman moving in all I could think about was me three years ago. I came to Boston so excited to meet everyone and start the amazing journey that is college, and the fact that I am almost done at Wentworth is both sad and exciting. This just means that I am determined to make the most of my senior year!

Because I am a senior, my fall semester is my final Co-op experience. I am working for a geotechnical and environmental engineering company in Charlestown and love it so far! Though this is my first week, I have been through a lot of training and have even done some lab work! We did a sieve test on soil samples for one of the projects my company was working on, so I had the opportunity to take what I learned in class and work on it in a real life setting. Everyone that I speak to about the coop opportunity that Wentworth provides raves about how great it is! I picked a geotechnical company because I believe I would like to pursue a masters degree in this field, and this is the best way to find out if I like it or not before I commit to a year long process and the expenses of graduate school.

Other than work, I am excited for the new school year to start. We have great things planned for the Society of Women Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers this year! Our executive board meetings start next week, and the general meetings the week after, so it will be nice to see the returners and new faces!!

I had the honor last night of attending Wentworth’s Awards Ceremony. There 118 students were honored for their hard work in academics, coop, community service, and much more! It is truly amazing to see all of the amazing contributors there are on campus, though this was just a small representation of the people who do amazing things here at Wentworth! Congratulations to all who recieved awards last night and who were nominated!
Our American Society of Civil Engineers group had the honor of being awarded the Civic Engagement award. This award is to recognize a student or group of students who gives back to their community. I featured some of the work we have done in previous blogs, but we have worked on fixing a garden for the Tobin Community Center and built a handicap accessable ramp for the Health Movement office on Mission Hill. Working on these was a great opportunity, and I am so glad we had the chance to get involved with the community and give back! ASCE also works with the Boston Society of Civil Engineers to volunteer for the Future City and Model Bridge Competitions, two opportunities for middle and high schoolers to learn more about Civil Engineering. I really love doing all of this stuff! I also had the honor to be awarded the Outstanding Junior Leadership Award, which was a huge honor. Last night was really great, and it is nice to see what everyone is involved in to make Wentworth the best school it can be!

Where Does the Time Go?!

February 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

I honestly cannot believe that it is mid-February already! I have been on co-op for 6 weeks today already at Parsons Brinckerhoff and I could not be happier! It is a lot different than my last job… before I was working with a general contractor where is now I am working with mostly consulting work and some design. They are very different, but both of these experiences have helped me to decide that I would like to pursue a masters in geotechnical engineering! For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it is a specialty of civil engineering that prodominently deals with soils and rocks and how they interact with construction projects. Obviously there is a lot more that goes into it, but I am currently working in the hydro power division where we do some geotechnical work. I am learning a lot about dams and the processes behind design and consulting, which will be very helpful to me in the future and is interesting right now!

Another exciting thing going on right now is the concrete canoe! Part of the reason why this semester has flown by was because we have been preparing to pour the concrete, or place it really. We had to prepare the mold and finalize the mix design before we could pour, and make sure there were enough of each material, but we finally were done last weekend for our pour day! It was very stressful, especially being captain and having everything fall on me, but it was so worth it to see the final product! After four hours, about 20 people, and 32 3 gallon batches of concrete we were done! Now we just have to water it twice a day over the next month so that it will stay hydrated, allowing it to get stronger and resist cracking!

Society of Women Engineers is a club on campus geared towards females in engineering, although anyone can join, where we mostly work on career development and bonding of those on campus. Because there is a small percentage of the student population here at Wentworth that are females, it is important to gather together and to assure those who may be new to the school that there are females that they can become friends with in their classes while letting them know that this school is very welcome to all types of students. A great way to do this is to have an alum come in and share their experiences to the girls. We were lucky enough to have Ann Marie, a graduate of Architectural Engineering and the Construction Management program, speak with us about her experience as a student at Wentworth and as a graduate of this school.

It was really great being able to hear about her experiences. She was able to let us know that the engineering world will also have very few females, but that should not stop you from achieving your best. We were informed of how she went through getting her job and some setbacks, but that these changes will always help you in your future endeavors. She brought a networking activity to help show us who we have in our circles of people we know, and how we can work on expanding them through hard work and our upcoming experiences, such as coops and when we graduate. It was really nice to hear that it will always be growing and changing, but that is okay. Ann Marie also talked about the topic of mentors and sponsors, letting us know the difference of each and what they can really do for you. We were able to hear about how her sponsor positively effected her career and helped get her to where she is. Ann Marie was also able to assure us that these people may change as your progress and grow, and that is okay too.

I personally had a mentor my freshman year, the president of SWE at the time, who really helped me through my first year. Obviously I eventually followed in her footsteps and am now president of SWE, but we have lost touch since then. People grow apart because of distance and changes in their lives, but always be thankful to those who have been in your life and helped you. In order to succeed you will need some help, be it a friend, an upperclassman, or even a professor, to help you guide you through and teach you important lessons. I will always be grateful to her for her help in guiding me to be the best I could be and strive for more, especially because she was a great role model for me. Be sure to appreciate it and take what they have to say into consideration, they are helping create the person they know you can be.