January 26, 2012
Contact: Amy Hewes
Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers Honors Five Outstanding Members
SAN LUIS OBISPO - The Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers (SWE) announced five recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Women in Engineering and Technology award at this year’s Evening with Industry held Thursday, Jan. 19 at the San Luis Obispo Embassy Suites.
In addition, SWE named Tracy Thatcher from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as “Most Supportive Professor,” and more than $21,000 in scholarships were presented at the gala.
The banquet attracted more than 250 students, faculty, staff and industry executives. Scholarship awards were presented to 22 students from the following companies: Bechtel, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Eaton Corp., Fluor, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Bursh, NetApp, Northrop Grumman, Park Hannifin and Raytheon.
The Outstanding Women in Engineering and Technology winners were chosen based on: faculty recommendations, demonstrated leadership, related work experience and grade point average. Each of the winners is actively engaged in extracurricular activities. The winners are:
Lynn Groundwater, a bioresource and agricultural engineering senior from Palo Cedro, Calif., has been significantly involved in the Agricultural Engineering Society, where she served as president, as well as the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The Tractor Pull and Quarter Scale Design Team have also figured prominently in her extracurricular involvements. To pay for a portion of her education, Groundwater has worked part-time for the Irrigation Training and Research Center, gaining valuable experience with irrigation systems. In addition, she has interned at PACE Engineering and CH2M, both in Redding, which have solidified her interest in the water industry.
Megan McIntyre, an industrial engineering senior from Irvine, Calif., was recently recognized as a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma through Abbot Labs, where her internship led to a job. She planned and ran the largest slam poetry event ever held at Cal Poly and is currently project manager for the American Society for Engineering Education conference, which will be hosted in late March at Cal Poly. McIntyre is also a member of two academically prestigious groups on campus: the Mortar Board, where she volunteers with the Reading is Leading program, and Tao Beta Pi, where she conducts outreach at local high schools to promote engineering.
Morgan Miller, a civil engineering senior from Davis, Calif., with a minor in ethnic studies, is the current president of SWE. Through part-time work and internships, she has accrued extensive experience in civil, construction and geotechnical engineering. Since 2007 she has been among a select group of student trainees chosen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work on numerous geotechnical engineering projects in Sacramento. She is a member of Chi Epsilon, the campus civil and environmental engineering honor society. As part of her Study Abroad experience, Miller helped develop appropriate technology to provide clean drinking water for a village in Thailand.
Laura Rice, an architectural engineering senior from Martinez, Calif., is president of the Structural Engineers Association of California/Architectural Engineering Institute student chapter and a member of the Tau Beta Pi honor society. For her senior project, she designed and constructed the base for a portable telescope, which led to requests for her to present papers on the project in Hawaii, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. She traveled to Haiti with a group of architectural engineering students after the 2010 earthquake and helped form Structural Engineering Students for Haiti. In addition, Rice is a competitive ballroom dancer and has been actively involved in the Cal Poly Dancesport team.
Nicole Thomason, a graduate student in aerospace engineering from Oakley, Calif., has held numerous leadership positions with the Society for Women Engineers and the Engineering Student Council throughout her student career, together with a wide range of other engineering clubs and teams. In 2008, she became part of Team Tech history when, for the first time, SWE had two teams competing for the national title, and both teams tied for first place. Her various industry internships include a stint at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Her thesis work is part of a NASA-funded project to explore a propulsion concept for more efficient aircraft and incorporates Cal Poly’s wind tunnel testing facilities. Thomason recently accepted a position with Boeing in St. Louis.
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