“You have a lot of independence running your own experiments.”
With both parents as engineers, Catherine Fromen figured that following in their footsteps “sounded like the most awful thing ever.” She even declared a chemistry major and then switched to a biology/premed track before realizing that a love and aptitude for engineering must be in her genes.
As a technical assistant at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the senior works with liquid crystals for eventual use with flexible reflective displays. She clocks about 10 to 15 hours a week at the lab alongside chemistry and mechanical engineering majors who can offer several viewpoints on her project. It was here that she developed an interest in materials research, which she hopes will translate someday into a career working with alternative energy applications.
Her next step is applying to graduate programs.
“They love to see you’ve been involved with hands-on research like this, where you have a lot of independence running your own experiments,” she says. “It definitely looks good for anything in the future.”