College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Outstanding senior fall 2019 – Sarah Baratta

Sarah Baratta

  • Major: Electrical engineering, emphasis in VLSI (Very-large-scale integration)
  • Minor: International studies, focus in science and technology in Asia
  • GPA: 3.84
  • Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Career goal: To be passionate and interested in what I do (and not dread going to work!)
  • Clubs/activities: Engr 160 and Cpr E 381 teaching assistant 
  • Awards/honors: Dean’s List, Multicultural Vision Program Scholar
  • Favorite place on campus: Coover because I spend so much time there. It is my home away from home.
  •  Most influential ISU mentor: Gary Tuttle, associate professor of electrical engineering. He has a great personality and has shared a lot of useful knowledge with me and my peers.
  • Why Iowa State: Because of scholarship opportunities and it is closer to Des Moines than U of I.


Sarah Baratta’s favorite experience at Iowa State was working as a teaching assistant in the electrical engineering department, specifically for Engr 160 and Cpr E 381

 “I feel like my greatest accomplishment has been being a TA,” Baratta said. “Certain professors and TAs have been really helpful and fun, which can make or break a class or lab. I have tried to providethat positive experience for others.”

Baratta has also been involved in multiple hands-on research projects during her time at Iowa State. She worked on an optical transmitter/receiver, which is a wireless optical link that transmits audio and visual signals of various frequencies over a short distance. 

She also worked on a pipelined MIPS (Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipelined Stages) processor, a mutli-cycle pipelined processor that could execute MIPS programs. Built using VHDL (Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language), it consisted of a register file, ALU (arithmetic logic unit), multiple memory modules, control units and forwarding units. She assisted with a Pluto rover and digital calculator as well for class projects.

Baratta worked as an electrical engineering intern at Clysar, LLC in the summer of 2019. In this position she programmed industrial PLCs (programmable logic controller) using ladder logic, and she programmed HMIs (Human-Machine interface) while also programming suitable replacements and updating related documentation when new technology is integrated into the existing process. 

Throughout her time at Iowa State, Baratta balanced a very busy academic schedule with part-time work at the Machine Shed in Urbandale, Iowa.

After graduation, Baratta will move to Minnesota to begin working as a hardware developer for IBM.