Angie discovered the product development process through an unusual medium: theatre. After starring in numerous productions and then falling in love with physics in high school, Angie took on a new role creating stagecraft behind the scenes that brought theatre productions to life. She went on to receive a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and help redesign products for Caterpillar and John Deere as an undergraduate. After receiving her degree, she went to work for a company that manufactures human interfaces. These experiences helped Angie realize that any engineering solution must be a good fit for the body and mind, and her goal now is to become an expert in product development.
What stands out to me about the EDI program at Northwestern is its unparalleled emphasis on the human-centered approach and the importance of hands-on experience. I felt those qualities were lacking in my more theoreticall-focused undergraduate years. While my bachelor’s degree supplied me with the tools to think like an engineer, I believe one truly becomes an engineer when they feel pride in having created something that fulfills a purpose. This learning-by-doing method is taught by the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern, where products that improve the lives of people around the world are created, not only through testing and iteration, but also through the crucial process of interviewing and observing users. The world-renowned faculty as well as the numerous advanced design facilities offer me plenty of opportunities to expand upon my foundation in engineering and human factors while gaining practical experience at the forefront of innovation.
BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
I co-oped at Caterpillar, where I examined failed parts within machines for the Product Support team, consistently diagnosing design errors and redesigning as necessary. Upon graduation, I was fortunate to join Grayhill, a company that works primarily with human interfaces in medical, military, and off-road industries. My duties as a Sales Engineer included communicating with customers to determine their specifications, developing tailored concepts, and overseeing the designs of ergonomic devices from prototype to production.