Trinity University Outstanding Member: Emma Williams

fb_img_1451460524104Emma Williams is a sophomore at Trinity University pursuing a degree in engineering science. She plans to focus her major in Chemical Engineering and minor in Mathematics.Emma only has recently joined SWE in the fall, but attended the 2016 National Conference in Philadelphia. She loved every minute of it. Outside of SWE and her engineering courses, she can be found playing soccer as a member of the women’s club soccer team. Additionally she is a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, member of the American Water Works Association, and currently a calculus peer tutor.

Intern Insight: Paulina Rojas

Paulina Rojas is currently the secretary for the SWE section at Texas Tech University where she is majoring in civil engineering.


Over the summer of 2016 I interned with one of the top general contractors in Houston, Webber LLC. Webber mainly focuses on heavy civil projects such as highways and bridges including big ticket items such as pavement and drainage. The company recently acquired a water resource company that also does commercial work. Together the company has broadened its resources and is now able to serve more of the needs of the city of Houston and Texas.
The internship program that I was a part of was an eye opening experience for me as a civil engineering student. I had never considered construction management as a field that I could go into upon graduation. Webber had an amazing 12 week program that allowed me to get a glimpse into all of the departments that contribute to the success of a project. I was also given a journal with useful information where I had space to write down what I was learning and take notes. Upon my arrival at the company I was immediately given an OSHA training course and was educated on safety issues that occur in the field.
The first week I was at Webber I observed and worked with the safety department where I learned the company’s rules when it comes to safety. Webber is very serious about making sure every employee is able to return to their homes safely. The following week was spent with the surveying department. I was amazed at how important the surveying crew  was to a project. During that week I visited several projects and was able to use some of the equipment in the field as well as the CAD software in the office. After I spent time with the survey manager, I was transferred to work with the Superintendent, project engineer, field engineer and project manager.
During those remaining exciting weeks I fell in love with the scheduling organizing, overseeing and dedication that comes with the work. I never thought of working in construction when I graduated, now that I have had experience in the field I am certain that I found what I want to do and be a part of for the rest of my life. Being able to be part of a team that builds a structure that will stand longer than you is extraordinary. Webber is an amazing company and I was able to have them come and talk to our members in a SWE meeting, I was surprised at how many people showed interest in the company and I hope to stay in contact with them to have them continue attending.

Texas A&M University Outstanding Member: Lindsay Hullet


am.pngLindsay Hullet is a sophomore mechanical engineering student at Texas A&M University. She hopes to someday work for NASA and help design spacecraft for the Mars missions. Apart from school, she loves playing and watching basketball, attending Aggie football games, and playing guitar. Lindsay’s favorite thing about SWE is the awesome network of female engineers that are always there for her when she needs them, whether that’s helping with classes or just to hang out and take a study break.

Lindsay was a member of our SWElites program her freshman year. This program is a freshmen leadership committee within SWE that gives freshmen an introduction to SWE and to leadership opportunities early in their college career. Lindsay’s SWE involvement has continued into her sophomore year, where she has easily been our most involved member. She has attended many of our events this semester such as our annual Leadership Retreat, our joint soccer tournament with other engineering societies, and all of SWE’s general meetings. Texas A&M is lucky to have such an involved member!

Intern Insight: McKenzie Sweeney

My name is McKenzie Sweeney and I am a junior mechanical engineering major at Texas A&M University (A-A-A-WHOOP!). This past summer I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at Rolls Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana as a Manufacturing Engineering intern. It was my first internship and going in I had absolutely no idea how much I would learn from it! Rolls Royce has a large intern program (> 100 students in Indianapolis alone), so it was a great company to get my first experience at because they really put an emphasis on making sure each intern is used to their full potential and is given every opportunity possible to learn. Some students may find it intimidating working for a large company or in an industry they have no experience in (manufacturing jet engines in my situation), but I will say that as long as you work hard and be yourself, you won’t have any issues standing out and thriving in any environment.


Working in manufacturing can be intimidating regardless of the company or industry. It’s no secret that there are very few women working in the plants and most of the union machine operators will be at least twice your age if you are a college intern. Don’t let this scare you away from manufacturing. This summer, some of my most eye opening and invaluable experiences came from working with those people who had more years experience than I had been alive. If you humble yourself and take the time to ask the burning questions you have, you will surprise yourself with how much you can learn in 12 weeks by just purely observing everything going on around you. The lessons were about anything from how to un-crash a machine, life advice, where to get the best donuts in town, or how to indicate a part into a machine. Be a sponge and absorb every bit of it.


A typical day for me began with a 6am department meeting to go over the daily safety message, status of the parts that were currently in our line, and where we were at for meeting our weekly/monthly production goals. Throughout the morning I worked with my boss (the manufacturing engineer for the department) to troubleshoot problems in the department that varied from having parts with dimensions out of tolerance, doing gauge accuracy and repeatability tests to making sure the gauges were measuring the parts properly, coming up with new ways to manufacture parts whose processes were written 50 years ago, or helping with the transition from manual to cnc (automatic) machines. In the afternoons we usually had meetings with all the plant engineers which allowed me to see some of the decision-making at a higher level. Always find ways to make new connections when you’re working! I met lots of fellow employees/engineers in the plant by going and asking them for help on something I was working on, asking if they had anything they needed help on, or just being present and engaged in meetings that I wasn’t required to attend.

My last piece of advice is to get to know the other interns and have fun! I met a lot of great people and went on some fun adventures with them that I will never forget. The more you challenge yourself during your summer internship both professionally and personally, the more you will get out of it!

SWE FY18 Region C Leadership Nomination – Deadlines 1/25/17 (Society Ballot) and 2/22/17 (Region Ballot)

This year we are electing the following positions: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Professional Senator (1), Collegiate Senator (RCS), Region Collegiate Representatives (RCRs – 2), Region Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE), and the Region Nominating Committee Chair.  All offices with the exception of the Governor and Professional Senators are one year positions with service beginning 01 July 2017.

All members in good standing may suggest candidates, including themselves, in response to this call.  Confirmation does not need to be obtained before a name is suggested, although it is highly preferable that such a discussion take place before the suggestion is submitted.  Applications and biography formats will be forwarded to the nominees upon receipt of the nomination.  It is also highly recommended that you secure at least two references, as the committee will be asking them for their input. This year, the nomination periods will be broken into two parts – Society Ballot and Region Ballot positions.

Society Ballot Positions: 
The candidates for Governor, Professional Senator, RCS, RCRs, and RCCE are elected on the Society ballot and need to be identified first.  Per the by-laws, candidates for those positions must be presented to the region no later than Feb 28th. With this said, all nominations with the template (linked below) complete for the Region Positions elected via the Society Ballot are due to Region C Nominating Committee Chair Jennifer Vilbig – no later than 11:59pm on Wednesday, January 25th.  Position descriptions and requirements for Region Positions elected via the Society Ballot can be found here.  An application format example can be found here.

Region Ballot Positions:
The remaining region positions (Lt. Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, Region Nominating Committee Chair) will be elected via the region ballot.  All nominations for those positions are due no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, February 22nd.  Unless the committee lacks qualified candidates for each position, nominations will not be reopened unless the Governor specifically directs the committee to do so.  Qualifications for these positions can be found here.

Please note that with the current SWE Governance Update, the positions elected for two-years may only serve a one year term in the event that the governance update dissolves the positions. The Region Nominating Committee Chair position may be dissolved if elections are not required to fill region positions in FY19.  For more information visit the Society’s Governance Update Page

We are also issuing a call for Nominating Committee members.  If you are interested in participating, or have any questions about the nomination process, contact any of the current Region C Leadership or the Region C Nominating Committee Chair, Jennifer Vilbig: Jennifer Vilbig, PE 469-363-4951 (cell)

Intern Insight: AnneMarie Kovach

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Within this untitledprogram, I first attended the Bioastronautics Institute and then interned with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Through my time with NASA I was able to figure out where biomedical engineers, such as myself, fit into the space program.

The Bioastronautics Institute was a whole week of presentations from post-doctoral students, chief scientists, and even astronauts. We heard all about cutting-edge research in the field of space life sciences, such as countermeasures for bone loss caused by spending long durations in microgravity. We heard about outreach efforts, happening through NASA, with the aim of getting kids excited about science and engineering. And although I personally cannot imagine going into space, we learned about what it takes to become an astronaut and the lifestyle they have during training and in space.

After the first week, I dove into my internship at the Johnson Space Center in building 37, home of the Biomedical Sciences. The first few days were filled with meetings to learn the objective behind the research with which I would be assisting: to find a possible countermeasure to the negative side effects caused by space radiation. Being a part of this project was exciting because space radiation is considered, by many at NASA, to be th
e number one road block on the mission to Mars.


Shown here are the rotating wall vessels used to simulate microgravity in our cell cultures.

In the midst of summer, my typical day started in the lab prepping white blood cellsamples for simulated microgravity culture. Once those cells were incubating, I would promptly start analyzing the previous day’s samples using a technique called polymerase chain reaction, which outputs the dysregulations seen in the cells’ gene expression. Furthermore, several days a week, we had guest speakers give presentations on topics related to NASA, i.e. how food science fits into an astronaut’s life.


My days were sometimes extremely busy and I was constantly running around, but it wasn’t hard to find motivation to keep working. Being able to play a role, no matter how small, in getting man on Mars was an amazing experience that I will never forget.