My name is Nicole Navinsky and I am a senior from Flower Mound, Texas studying Electrical Engineering with a Biomedical Specialization. I am planning on utilizing the 4+1 Accelerated Master’s Program to continue my education at SMU and get a M.S. in Electrical Engineering.
I chose the Lyle School of Engineering for the opportunities I knew it would provide. There are very few schools that really offer undergraduate research, especially to freshman and sophomores. And, not only does the school provide research opportunities but since it is in the middle of Dallas the school has very strong connections with engineering companies in the DFW area as well. I felt those connections would be very beneficial when I went to try to find internships, co-ops, and eventually a full time job. I also loved the Hart Center for Engineering Leadership and thought they could really help me build my leadership skills which was a goal of mine coming into college. And of course the final reason I came to SMU was for the people. Everyone at the Lyle School of Engineering really felt like a large family and when I visited the campus I knew I wanted to be a part of that family.
As a sophomore, I stared working on the undergraduate Biometrics Research Group where I perfected an algorithm that identifies and recognizes irises. I am also working on a multispectral project in which I study the differences in iris images taken at different wavelengths of light. Last summer I worked at Stryker Communications, a medical device company in the DFW area. I worked on the surgical lights team and developed a gesture control for their light heads so surgeons could control the brightness of the light during surgery with hand gestures without touching a non-sterile surface.
I am very involved in the Lyle School of Engineering. Currently, I am President of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) which is an organization providing support for the personal and professional development of women in mathematics, engineering, and science. SWE participates in a wide variety of outreach programs including outreach activities with Girls Inc. Our SWE section visits Girls Inc. once a month to do engineering activities with middle school girls and teach them what engineering is all about and why young girls should think about pursuing a degree in engineering. Our biggest event of the year, She Networks She Wins, is a wonderful networking event for our members and all the female engineers to meet with women from different engineering disciplines and talk with them about what it is like to be a woman in the engineering industry and ask them for advice. SWE is a great well rounded organization for female engineering students to join since it provides such a wide variety of opportunities including outreach programs, networking events, interactions with companies in the DFW area, many officer positions available to build leadership skills, and chances to attend SWE national and regional conferences where our members get to meet many female engineering students from other universities and professionals.
The Lyle School of Engineering has it all. Great people, wonderful professors, great facilities, and there is always someone to help you if you are lost or having trouble with something. I am so happy I made the choice to come to SMU because I have really felt like I have made a difference here and I wouldn't be the person I am today without all of the people I have met.