What goes into being a successful engineering student at CSU? Just ask Haley King, mechanical and biomedical engineering senior and research assistant. King shares experiences through her own lens and sheds light on the importance of having goals, getting involved, and making memories along the way.
King is on target to graduate in just a few short months, however, it would be unlike her to focus on just one goal at a time. Before she walks across the stage, King wants to be admitted into a graduate school with a rehabilitation robotics/exoskeleton lab as she is passionate about pursuing her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a focus on biorobotics for rehabilitation. She is determined to present a top-notch senior design project on a Canine Orthotronic Mobility System. King also wants to submit her undergraduate research from the Cardiovascular and Biofluid Mechanics Lab to the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Last but not least, she is determined to get in at least 20 days of snowboarding before the season ends!
Throughout her undergrad years, King not only had a full class load, but maintained a strong presence in college organizations and the community. Currently, she is the Activities Co-Chair of the Engineering College Council and a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Last year, she was the Career Fair Liaison and helped plan CSU’s engineering career fairs. King was also elected as one of the Senior Design Showcase Committee Heads. She was a member of the CSU NCAA Varsity Golf Team for 3 years and is always involved in intramural sports. King lends a helping hand to community initiatives as well – planning fundraisers, participating in Cans Around the Oval, and tutoring and participating in STEM events for elementary and middle school students, are some of her favorites.
With her days at CSU dwindling, King reminisces on her favorite engineering courses, professors, and experiences. Dynamics of Machines with Dr. Stansloski, Mechatronics with Dr. Alciatore, and Problem Based Learning with Dr. Dasi are all courses where she learned something about the career she envisions, or confidently applied her skills for the first time. “Last summer I had a mechanical engineering internship with Ekso Bionics in California working on rehab, military, and industrial exoskeletons – definitely the coolest engineering experience I’ve had thus far. From my desk, I regularly watched paralyzed individuals walk with the help of the Ekso rehab exoskeleton. It was incredible.”
After class and on the weekends, it wouldn’t be unusual to find King reenergizing in the beautiful Colorado outdoors. Whether it’s trail-running or mountain biking at Horsetooth, camping in the mountains, climbing a 14er, or snowboarding, she seizes every moment to its full potential. Grabbing a bite at her favorite lunch spot, the Pickle Barrel on Laurel, is a timed 8-minute walk from the engineering building and her preferred way to refuel. “Pickle Barrel has some killer sandwiches. Get the Funky Punky, just trust me,” King added.
King’s undergraduate accomplishments are not only extensive, but impressive, and just the beginning of a fulfilling journey ahead. “I’ve had an incredible time here at CSU thanks to classmates and professors. As a senior I’m definitely ready to graduate, but I wouldn’t be graduating if not for some of the incredible relationships I’ve cultivated here. I originally came to CSU from a small town in Indiana after being recruited by the golf team, but now I can’t imagine being anywhere else for my undergrad engineering education. The CSU Engineering Program has thoroughly prepared me for a career, and I’ll definitely miss the network I’ve formed and the fantastic culture of Fort Collins.”
We are proud of King and all of our graduates, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of them!