“As a food engineer, I would like to conserve our beautiful planet by creating food with flavors that excite and are also healthy, accessible and sustainable.”
Clubs and activities: With the goal of completing my degree early and earning my living expenses, I focused my time on my studies while working part-time in research labs throughout most of my semesters. I am, however, also an active member of the International Friendship Connection (IFC). It is where I connected with other students and developed long-lasting friendships.
When I have free time, I relax by channeling my creative side into baked goods and crafting embroidered tote bags. You can see my work on Instagram: @phyembroiders and @sweetsngiggles.
Valuable hands-on learning experience: I have had many valuable hands-on learning opportunities at Iowa State. The senior capstone design courses gave me first-hand experience in engineering design, project management and team collaboration. Other than that, working in research labs as an undergraduate research assistant with the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium and as a research assistant here in the Department of ABE has given me great experience in research operations. These experiences nurtured my love for research and innovation and have led me to desire a career in R&D.
Most influential mentors: The ABE department has some pretty great professors and staff. I am deeply grateful for the help and support I’ve received from everyone in the department, especially Raj Raman, Morrill Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Amy Kaleita, department chair of agricultural and biosystems engineering. Dr. Raman and Dr. Kaleita take a genuine interest in their students’ education and well-being. They are always willing to listen, help and support personal and career development without judgment.
Greatest accomplishments: My invaluable personal growth in independence, adaptability and flexibility. I have learned to be comfortable with ambiguity and solve problems in uncertain situations. In my capstone design project, I led my team in developing and prototyping a solar electric cookstove for Haiti that would save Haitians about $2,000 in terms of health and fuel cost per lifetime of the system. Another noteworthy accomplishment is that I maintained Dean’s List status throughout all semesters.
Plans after graduation: I hope to find an R&D position in a food manufacturing company that has the same values of sustainability, creativity and passion in food.
Making my mark on the world: Food is arguably the most important thing in life, but it concerns me that humans are straining the earth and its ecosystem to sustain ourselves. As a food engineer, I would like to conserve our beautiful planet by creating food with flavors that excite and are also healthy, accessible and sustainable.
Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer: Cyclone Engineers are persistent in pursuing their passion and are not afraid to go the extra mile. Everyone has the same motivation to positively impact this world, and I am all for it. Cyclone Engineers also channel our uniqueness into everything we do, from small assignments to a two-semester engineering design project. You never see any boring answers here.