Hello! My name is Lisa Devlin, and I am a member of the Nanotechnology Engineering Class of 2022.
Waterloo Engineering in one word:
I choose Waterloo Engineering because:
It felt like it could be home. I did a shadow day myself with an Engineering Ambassador, and it was so nice to experience a regular day of classes and witness the camaraderie present. I felt welcome and comfortable. Coop was a major selling point too; I really want to build a good resume because my number one goal after university is to find good employment.
The best thing about my program is:
How varied it is. University decisions at 17 years old is a heavy burden. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and the Nanotechnology program, paired with my coops have let me experience materials, electronics, biology, manufacturing, software development, data science and so much more. This has given me the opportunity to truly discover where I want to direct my career and get some experience in that field.
About my Co-op experience:
My goal is to be employed in industry after graduation, so I’ve directed my coops towards industry.
My first coop was data management at FGF Brands, and I really loved it because my work held such obvious value to the company. I also got the opportunity to work alongside the software development team, and continuous improvement engineering team.
For my second work term, I was employed at Bombardier, which was really exciting. The facility was massive and I spent my days wandering around aircraft. I performed a whole variety of production support tasks at that job and got to work with many different groups of people; it was an excellent introduction to what massive manufacturing environments are like.
I just finished an 8 month work term (a unique feature to the Nano program) at a company owned by Siemens Healthineers called Epocal. We produced blood test equipment, and I worked with a team that carried out product improvement tasks through data science and machine learning. There I discovered that data science applied to engineering is likely the field I want to pursue a career in!
I wish I had known before I came:
Lots of people trouble with the transition to university, be it making new friends, figuring out study skills or just moving away from home, though not many admit it. I am not afraid to say that starting university was scary for me, and at the time I felt like I was the only one feeling that. I now know that a lot of people struggle with adjusting, but almost all of us get through anyways, you aren’t the only one, and you aren’t less capable than your peers, they probably just aren’t admitting their own challenges. I wish I could tell first year me that even though things are rough, once you get in the swing of things and find your place, university is a fantastic experience, it just takes time.
Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:
Obviously I am an Engineering Ambassador, and I have previously held the role of EngChats director. I am also an academic representative for my class, so I work with our instructors on behalf of my class to sort out any issues that may arise. This has been critical with COVID-19 and I am pleased to say that being an Academic Rep is giving me the power to improve the experience incoming Nano students are likely to have in F20, and our program’s administration has been very supportive during the challenging transition to online learning.
On top of this (and yes, I know I have really overdone it) I am the VP Finance and Events for the Nanotechnology Engineering Student Society from May 2020 to May 2021, and I am actively involved in the Engineering Student Society and Engineering Orientation Week (as seen in my profile picture).
A fun project I’ve completed:
In the spring of 2017 I participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition, which that year was themed around steampunk. Naturally this involved costumes. On a whim, a week or so before a competition I decided I would make a prosthetic hand-glove thingy out of craft foam (which has this really awesome moulding behaviour when you heat it up). It turned out pretty good in my opinion and I think almost every member of my team wore it at some point.
One more thing about me:
I really love music! I sang in choir and played trombone in band in high school. It can be difficult to find a place for music in university, but we have pianos all over campus for students to play. Impromptu sing-alongs with my classmates is one of my favourite things in the world.