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Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Sarah Freeman '24

Sarah Freeman '24, Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Sarah Freeman '24

  • Class: 2024
  • Majors: Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
  • Out-of-Classroom Experiences/Interests:
    • Co-Op, SpaceX
    • Vice President, Engineers Without Borders
    • Treasurer, Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity
    • Lilly Leadership Institute
    • Society of Women Engineers
    • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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Because Miami is so undergraduate focused, you get to be in the lab in small groups and you get to work with professors — not just teaching assistants or lab techs.
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Sarah Freeman '24

Why Miami?

I chose Miami for engineering because of the opportunity to connect with professors. I noticed that in every class, you were going to be taught by a professor and work with the professor, which was really important.  You get a lot of attention when you need help with assignments. You also get a lot of time in the lab because our resources aren't stretched across a really large student body.

I also just love the campus. It's gorgeous. And it's very fun to be here. I think they do a good job with work-life balance and creating well-rounded engineers.

What's the Student Experience Like?

The student experience at Miami is extremely cooperative. Every professor I've had has just wanted me to succeed. All my groupmates really want me to succeed. I've had awesome experiences with collaborating,  whether it's homework assignments or labs, groups or individual work. You're able to go to the professor, and they've always been very helpful. It's definitely not a weed-out mentality like some other engineering schools might have. I'd say it's very collaborative, very cooperative, and very supportive.

Why Study Mechanical Engineering at Miami?

People who are interested in mechanical engineering should come to Miami because you get a lot of hands on opportunities in the lab. And you also get the opportunity to do undergraduate research because Miami is an undergraduate focused institution. So you get to work with professors and find what you're passionate about within mechanical engineering. Mechanical Engineering is pretty broad. So having that opportunity to specialize with specific professors is really unique helps you find what you're passionate about. And then you get to be in the lab doing hands on work, learning about how the things you're designing will actually be made, which is really important.

Why Study Manufacturing Engineering at Miami?

People interested in manufacturing engineering should come to Miami because you get the opportunity to have a lot of hands on experience, you also get it really early in your curriculum. And because Miami is so undergraduate focused, you get to be in the lab in pretty small groups and get to work with professors not just TA or lab techs, you get a lot of one on one time with your professors, you get small groups. And that means you get to actually work on the machines and being able to have that experience with the machine gives you really valuable insight to what you're doing on the manufacturing floor, what technicians are doing. And then I would also even say, as a mechanical engineer, that experience is very valuable because you get to bridge the gap between design and manufacturing.

How Did You Get Your Co-Op With SpaceX?

The professional development aspects of Miami's curriculum are really helpful. We have a lot of career resources that are very personalized to the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC). We get a lot of help with interview tips, how to bake a resume, things like that. And then being able to have a really individualized connection with professors is also very helpful, because they were able to guide me in my research interests, help me hone in my technical skills, and provide professional development advice. 

The professors that helped me the most were Dr. Butkus and Dr. Sommers. Dr. Sommers is my research advisor. He's been helping me with my research in micro fluidics, which is going to apply pretty closely to the thermal engineering I'm doing at SpaceX. And then Dr. Butkus has experience in the aerospace industry. He worked with the Air Force Research Lab, which I also had experience with, and that helped me get the SpaceX opportunity.

What Advice Do You Have For Young Women in Engineering?

I would tell young women pursuing engineering to always be confident in your abilities. I think there's a tendency to doubt your qualifications and doubt how capable you are. You are just as capable as everyone else in the room. And you should keep that in mind, especially when applying to jobs and applying to schools. You're capable. You're qualified. Be confident in your abilities.