Caxys on Campus
An Inside Perspective for LFA's Future Engineers
On August 31st, students enrolled in the Principles of Engineering and related science courses attended a lecture by Grace Baird, a rail engineer who works in the civil engineering industry. She has designed complete streetcar systems in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, and Seattle to ensure the public's safety from high voltage in overhead wires. After working on projects with Amtrack, New Jersey Transit, and Metro North, Grace is currently continuing her career in York, England as a collaborator for large scale electrification projects.
Amanda Byron, a member of LFA's English Faculty, invited Grace to speak to students during Grace's visit to Chicago. Their friendship goes back to when they first met in New York during their college years, and Grace accepted the opportunity to share information about a field that many LFA students pursue after graduating from college. During her presentations, Grace answered various questions, and found that the students were thoughtful, curious, and willing to learn about her profession.
To students who may not have had a chance to visit her sessions, she gives several pieces of advice:
- "Engineers are creative problem solvers. Almost everything you come into contact with was designed by an engineer, like the road you drive on, the elevator you use, your phone, sports equipment, musical instruments, etc."
- "Majoring in Engineering gives you the math and science background to approach any type of problem when you begin working in the real world. Engineering is a very rewarding field because you get to see your designs become real objects that people interact with. It can be stressful, but it is also very rewarding. I encourage anyone who is interested in solving problems to look into engineering."
- "If you aren't sure about which specific type of engineering you're interested in, check out the course requirements for civil, mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering when considering colleges. You'll get an idea of what you will be learning, and then make your choice based on what is the most interesting to you. The more interested you are in the subject, the better!"
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