College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Annika Lehan is turning technology into sustainability

Annika Lehan
Annika Lehan

Clubs and activities: First-year Honors Program leader, a small group leader for Tau Beta Pi, American Institute of Chemical Engineers the design director,  as well as a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE).

Valuable hands-on learning experience: I found my internships to be most valuable because they allowed me to see the bigger picture by connecting everything that I had previously learned at Iowa State. Even more so though, my internships taught me so much in such a short time and gave me a better understanding of what information to focus on when I returned to school, helping me get set up with my post-graduation job. 

Influential mentors: The first was Mackenzie Schwartz, my academic advisor, who was incredibly supportive when I was trying to choose my major and heavily influenced my decision to be a chemical engineer. The second was Dennis Vigil, department chair of chemical and biological engineering, whom I did undergraduate research with. He was very encouraging and allowed me time to independently learn through my research while still providing me with valuable feedback and guidance.

Making my mark on the world: Time and time again, I am amazed by how far technology has come and what we are able to understand in this day and age. As a Cyclone Engineer, I would like to use technology to design and improve processes that will help guide us toward a more sustainable future. Additionally, I hope to have a positive impact on my peers and one day be able to provide mentorship because it’s only when we help set up future generations that we will have truly made our impact on the world.

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer: One of the things most appealing to me about Iowa State was the sense of community that can be found everywhere on campus. The engineering program is no different — to this day, I am still meeting new engineers in the program who are incredibly friendly and passionate about making a positive impact. Spending every day with these fellow students and experiencing both the good and challenging times together has been one of the best parts of being a Cyclone Engineer.