Kate Zhao

Electrical Engineering 2022

Hello! I’m Kate and I’m in the Electrical Engineering class of 2022. I enjoy traveling, playing rock riffs on my guitar, and curling up with a good book and cup of coffee.

Kate Zhao

Waterloo Engineering in one word:


I chose Waterloo Engineering because:

Hands on experience! As much as I enjoyed theoretical physics and math in high school, doing labs and applying that theory piqued my interest more. Waterloo Engineering gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned through co-ops and course labs. On top of that, work terms lets me try my hand at completely different industries and types of jobs, giving me a better idea of what career path I want to eventually pursue.

The best thing about my program is:

Everyone around me! From amazingly talented peers to genuinely caring profs, I’ve learned so much from the people here. A sense of kinship really develops as a result of the cohort system, and my extracurriculars allows me to make friends outside of my program. Being part of a community and having a wonderful support system has made all the difference in my undergraduate experience.

About my Co-op experience:

I’ve done coops all over the place (in 3 diff countries), including radio systems for nuclear plants, big data for startups and banks, and coastal restoration research in the Netherlands. I’m dabbling in as many industries as I can, and my favourite co-ops along the way have been the ones with the most differences in my day to day routine. While I was in the Netherlands, I was out in the field on a Monday, in a lab on a Tuesday, sitting in meetings on a Wednesday, and crunching data for the rest of the week. Life was never boring and I loved the constant change.

I wish I had known before I came:

Your experience at UW Engineering is not defined by your marks nor the coops you get, but rather the people you meet, the connections you make, and the impact you have on others.

Outside the classroom, I’m involved with:

  • Electrical & Computer Engineering Student Society – Co-founder & VP Professional
  • Women in Engineering Living Learning Community Peer Leader
  • Engineering Ambassadors
  • Orientation Week Leader
  • UW IEEE Student Branch – VP Communications

One more thing about me:

I love cars and I follow Formula 1 religiously! Hit me up if you want to hear an hours long ramble about engine designs and the state of the automotive industry… or just in general, reach out to me! I love talking to people

Contact me: kate.zhao@uwaterloo.ca