The University of Colorado, main campus located in Boulder, has a great engineering program that is nationally recognized. The College of Engineering and Applied Science program has a mission to reflect the highest standards in teaching and learning, discovery and innovation, and community and culture. The classes are designed to help prepare students for careers in the always growing global workforce with hands-on, in the field learning. Both the faculty and students involved in the program have opportunities to work with and partner with disciplines including aerospace, biotechnology, energy, along with other fields that are facing some of the world’s greatest challenges. The program at CU is the the top-ranked engineering programs in Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain Region.
We spoke to Ellen Goettsch, a CU graduate, about her experience in the College of Engineering and Applied Science program. Here is what she had to say about her favorite classes, her dream job, and advice to current students.
What program were you in at the University of Colorado and what degree did you graduate with?
I graduated with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering Energy & Environment Engineering for Developing Communities Certificate.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an engineer? When did you realize it?
I realized I wanted to become an engineer when I was in high school working for our school auto shop. A part of my role while working in the auto shop was designing and building electric racecars. I realized that I enjoyed designing and building the cars more than fixing them and that I didn’t want to become an auto mechanic, but an engineer.
What was your favorite class at CU and why?
Professor Miller’s Air Quality class because the class encouraged us to find our own way around air quality in areas which were important to ourselves. It was also a hands on class, learning how air quality was measured.
Who was your favorite professor at CU and why?
Bernard Amadei because of his work with the Mortenson center in engineering for developing communities. Being a part of the Mortenson center with Amadei taught me a lot about how to work as an engineer for developing communities.
Did you have an internship in your field while you were in school? If so, where?
I had an internship with The Sustainability Laboratory in Hura, Israel.
Do you feel that your education prepared you for the real world and why?
Since I was in school my goal was to work overseas in developing communities and I do believe school prepared me for a job overseas. However, I wish I spent more time preparing for a job locally while at CU.
What is your current job?
I am currently the Research and Development Manager for Green Bio Energy in Kampala, Uganda.
What is your dream job and why?
My dream job is working for a large Nonprofit as an engineer in conflict zones.
Do you have any advice for engineering students at CU?
My advice is to not just focus on a dream life while at CU. Take the time to research areas and receive advice for paths that don’t seem like your dream life. Step out of your comfort zone.
According to the university website the requirements for an Engineering and Applied undergrad are as follows:
- The satisfactory completion of the prescribed and elective work in any curriculum as determined by the appropriate academic department. A student must complete a minimum number of semester hours, not less than 128, of which the last 45 must be Boulder coursework earned after admission to the university and this college.
- A University of Colorado cumulative grade point average of 2.250 (2.000 for new students pre-Fall 2011) for all courses attempted.
- A cumulative grade point average, separately computed, of 2.250 (2.000 for new students pre-Fall 2011) in courses taken from the student’s major department is also required. For students in the applied mathematics program, the major department shall be the Applied Mathematics Department; for students in the engineering physics program, the major department shall be the Physics Department. For students majoring in environmental engineering, all chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering courses will be considered in lieu of those from a single department.
- The recommendation of the faculty of the academic department (or program) offering the degree. The campus designation on the diploma and transcript shall correspond to the campus designation of the academic department initiating the degree recommendation.
- The recommendation of the faculty of the college.
- The satisfactory completion of all Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) deficiencies.
- Some majors require the successful completion of an outcome measurement prior to graduation (e.g., the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination).
As a student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science you can expect tough classes, plenty of field experience, and a rigorous schedule. Another thing you can expect is a great experience that will allow you to reach your goals of becoming an engineer and making a difference in the world.
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