May Engineer of the Month explores passion for design at UC
Mechanical engineering student Emily Piatt found her passion for design in high school. The University of Cincinnati gave her the tools to develop that passion.
Piatt is the College of Engineering and Applied Science's May Engineer of the Month. Engineers of the Month demonstrate “excellence in the classroom, success in their co-op assignments and leadership through extracurricular activities on campus and/or in the community.” These students have found the balance needed to be leaders and exemplary scholars at UC.
In high school, Piatt participated in her school’s Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, a program that lets students invent engineering solutions to real-world problems. Piatt and her team designed a page turner for a girl with cerebral palsy.
“Working on that engineering project solidified me wanting to be an engineering and helping people through design,” Piatt said.
Piatt developed this passion through UC’s cooperative education (co-op) program. Her first co-op rotations were with automotive firm American Showa, Inc., where she designed test equipment for power steering. Her final rotations were with product design firm Kinetic Vision. At Kinetic Vision, she reverse engineered faulty products to find their defects.
“I think a lot of the hands-on experience from co-op is really helpful,” Piatt said. “A lot of what we do in class is theoretical, so it’s nice to get that practical experience to see the applications.”
Now Piatt is putting her design skills toward a different, but still booming, industry: craft beer.
For her senior capstone project, Piatt and her teammates designed a hop harvester for a small-scale farmer who sells his hops to local craft breweries. The hop harvester uses a mechanical process to pick hops, replacing the time-consuming task of handpicking.
Outside of class and co-op, Piatt has served as internal vice president of UC’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders and has twice traveled to Tanzania to install water distribution systems. She has also served as president of UC’s softball club for the last two years.
These activities help her achieve a work-life balance while taking advantage of all that UC has to offer.
“There’s always something to do on campus,” Piatt said. “There’s a lot of ways to meet new people, and I just love the community here.”
Featured image at top: UC engineering student Emily Piatt is the May Engineer of the Month for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Photo/Corrie Stookey/CEAS Marketing
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