Here at Georgia Tech, our students are more than their major. Many of our students participate in one or more of the 400 student organizations found on campus, the co-op program, the internship program, study abroad, and much more. Below are a collection of Student Profiles from undergraduate WIE Champions and scholarship winners.

Ayesha Rahman

Ayesha Rahman
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT? 

I was born in Bangladesh, then moved to New Jersey when I was 10 and pretty much stayed there my whole life until I transferred to GT summer of 2021. When I was at Rowan University I always felt like I didn’t belong surrounded by people who were so different from me, a huge inspiration comes from my brother as well. When he used to call me and tell me how much he enjoyed life in Atlanta and felt a sense of belonging. Then I toured the school and saw so many women like me, I knew I would belong. Also GT was ranked highly for Environmental Engineering, logistically also made sense.

How did you choose your specific major?

There’s two major reasons why I was interested in Environmental Engineering. When growing up in Bangladesh and surrounded by poverty, air and water pollution was hard when growing up, and nowadays hearing the health effects it has on my grandparents is also disheartening. Later, in high school I went to a water wastage company for an AP Environmental field trip, and while all my classmates were disgusted by the odor, I was inspired by the work the company did, cleaning out dirty water and pumping it back into the Delaware. When I committed to Rowan University I studied Computer Science because I took a couple computer science courses in high school and had a summer with Girls Who Code, so it just made the most sense to keep on doing what I knew rather than changing my mind. I was very unhappy with my computer science courses and found no real interest. When I applied to GT I switched my major, I wanted to try something I had a passion for.

What are you working on?

This summer I will be working with John Deere in Horicon, Wisconsin. I will be the environmental engineering intern developing power BI, will also assist with air, water, and waste emission tracking modules.

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

My favorite thing about GT is being surrounded by hard working and passionate students. The great thing about GT is always having my AXO sisters there as a support system, school is very hard and having a support system is so important with being so far away from jersey. Whenever I’m struggling I know I can ask my sisters for help, or study and struggle together so it makes it bearable.

What do you hope to do in the future?

I want to go back to Bangladesh and help with the tools I receive to clean air or water. I grew up in such a loving country with so much culture, I hope to go back and give back to the country who gave me my identity.

Clarisse Matyczyk

Aerospace Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I am from Buford, Georgia. I chose Georgia Tech because it has one of the best undergraduate Aerospace Engineering programs in the country as well as being an in-state institution. When I toured my senior year of high school, my tour guide told me that he was working on a satellite that would be launched into space, and it made me excited that a university allowed their undergraduate students opportunities like that.

How did you choose your specific major?

I chose Aerospace Engineering because I had a fascination with space ever since middle school. After taking engineering classes in high school, I decided on major in Aerospace Engineering because I really enjoyed designing and building projects.

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

I am an undergraduate research assistant in the Ben T. Zinn Combustion Lab. I am working on the Turbulent Flame Speed project where we essentially study the physics of fast, wiggly flames of different green fuel mixtures to help work towards more environmentally friendly energy production. I also just finished my term as 2021 Vice President of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a sorority whose mission is to support women in STEM. As VP, I was in charge of the sorority's professional development and planned our professional events. I was able to give back to the sisterhood which helped me navigate the professional world whether it was helping me through my co-op, navigating the full-time job search, or just supporting me through difficult academic times.

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

My favorite thing about Georgia Tech has been the friends I have made and people I have met who are associated with the Institute. Everyone has their own unique interests and passions, but we all share the same love of STEM and support each other through our endeavors. There are so many ways to get involved at Georgia Tech where I have been able to meet people of many backgrounds. I would not be here academically or professionally without the students and alumni I have met.

What do you hope to do in the future?

My goal is to build a career in the space industry to achieve my dream of having something I have worked on launch into space, whether it be the rocket itself or a spacecraft payload onboard. 

Mollie Johnson

Aerospace Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I'm from Chicago, IL, but I was drawn to GT by their amazing Aerospace Engineering program (and warm weather!)

How did you choose your specific major?

Choosing my major was kind of on a whim, to be honest. When I applied to colleges, I wanted to study linguistics, classics, or engineering-- all very different fields! I eventually settled on engineering, specifically aerospace because I thought it sounded cool. I'm very happy to say that I'm satisfied with my choice, as studying engineering has greatly broadened the way I see the world and has challenged me in many ways.

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

This semester I'm working for the AE department as an undergraduate TA, a job I am very passionate about. I love helping others learn! There is something very fulfilling about watching your students succeed and leave the classroom with more knowledge than they came in with. I'm also on a research project with ASDL, and this is my first semester on the flight dynamics YJSP team.

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

My favorite thing about Georgia Tech is definitely the people. I've met some amazing, brilliant people in and out of class. My peers and I bond over the language of engineering, something that is very special and hard to replicate elsewhere. The classes and workload continue to push my limits, but I feel challenged in a good way-- I never have a boring semester at GT!

What do you hope to do in the future?

In the future I hope to graduate with a master's degree and hopefully work on some space-related projects. I hope to work for NASA after graduation in their space missions development department or something similar. Further down the line, I might pursue a PhD and become a professor of my own one day!

Rebekah Geil

Aerospace Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I’m from Kennesaw, GA. I chose Georgia Tech because it is one of the nation’s top Aerospace Engineering schools, and I connected with the mission of progress and service. I also was drawn to the common drive among the student body to push the envelope of technology.

How did you choose your specific major?

When I was in 8th grade, I spent a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. It hooked me on aerospace engineering, and made me want to pursue a career at NASA exploring the universe.

What are you working on (projects, internships etc.)?

I completed two different internships last summer and fall, where I was working on Model-Based Systems Engineering. I got to look at the big picture view of aerospace vehicles and systems. I also got to help work on a variety of projects, such as NASA’s Pilot Excavator (a lunar rover that is designed to dig up regolith).

I also enjoy working at Georgia Tech’s Aero Maker Space, where we help faculty and students prototype designs and turn ideas into reality.

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

I love that the curriculum is preparing me to solve real world problems, not just teaching theory. I also highly value the connections I have made with other students and to hear the things they are working on.

What do you hope to do in the future?

In the future, I hope to become a flight controller, and be part of the team that sends human to the moon and Mars.

Grace Trebilcock

Grace Trebilcock
Mechanical Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I'm from Topsham, Maine, a small town on the Midcoast. I chose Tech because I wanted a fresh start from my small-town origins, and because Tech is one of the best places to study engineering. I remember touring with my mom when I was a junior in high school, and as soon as I stepped foot on campus, and saw how collaborative and innovative the curriculum and students were, I knew that I had to become a yellow jacket.

How did you choose your specific major?

I actually started out as an Aerospace Engineering major, but I switched to Mechanical Engineering just before Thanksgiving. I found myself finding all fields of engineering interesting, and I could see myself working in any number of industries, so I switched because I didn't want to limit my options. I also took Engineering Graphics (a Mechanical engineering course) last semester which was a class focused on design and engineering processes through Solidworks, and I knew I had to switch majors. I think that's the great thing about the engineering department here; you can get a taste of everything if you want, and there's plenty of support and ability to change your focus. 

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

I'm currently on my first rotation of my co-op with Draexlmaier, a company that provides the doors and interior deco (and more!) for numerous car brands like BMW and Tesla. I'm a co-op student with the Process Engineers at the plant in Duncan, SC. We make the doors for BMWs, and my job consists of learning the assembly line process, ensuring that the assembly lines and the robots work efficiently and correctly, and analyzing data outputted by the machines to optimize efficiency. In my first week and a half, I've learned how to use machine shop equipment and worked on an Excel workbook that allows us to analyze the types and number of errors that a couple of machines experience in the assembly lines. It's been so much fun so far, and I look forward to completing 3 rotations with them!

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

I think the best thing about Tech is the people. The student body is incredibly diverse and friendly. Everyone here wants to see each other succeed, and we feed off each other's determination and drive. It's a healthy balance of competition and support that makes me want to work hard and not procrastinate my work. I also love how collaborative everything is here. You can't get through Tech without experiencing at least one class where you complete a group project. I'm already reaping the benefits of such a peer-based academic structure: I spoke a lot about the Hackathon project I participated in and a project I completed in Engineering Graphics during my interview with Draexlmaier, and I believe it made a major difference in me getting an offer. 

What do you hope to do in the future?

I still have no idea what I want to do in the future! It's still early to tell, but I've been really enjoying the automotive industry, so maybe I'll end up in automotive engineering. Grad school may be on the distant horizon, but I'd prefer to go into the engineering industry after I complete my undergraduate degree at Tech. I still have several years to go until I graduate, so my interests and plans will probably shift.

Erika Landayan

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT? 

I’m from Garnerville, New York, which is about an hour north of NYC. I chose to become a Yellow Jacket because of Tech’s renowned engineering programs, great location in Midtown Atlanta, and friendly students! 

How did you choose your specific major?

I’ve always been interested in infrastructure - buildings, bridges, roads - you name it! Not only does a major in Civil Engineering allow me to study these systems on a daily basis, but it also allows me to work on projects that can play a role in people’s daily lives. I’m so excited by the fact that one day, I could work on designing a building, for example, and know that people will be able to use it and benefit from my work. Also, Civil Engineering is a field that is constantly changing, and I look forward to developing with it!

I’m also minoring in Global Engineering Leadership Studies, which is helping me see engineering from a lens other than that of science and math. I’ve been able to continue developing my technical skills, but with the added bonus of applying interpersonal skills (including teamwork, communication, and different leadership styles) inside and outside of the classroom. 

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

I’m currently working on a personal research project that observes the changes in Long Range Transportation Plans (LRTPs), which are documents that lay out various regions’ short- and long-term goals for their transportation systems. The changes I’ve found between older and present day LRTPs imply a lot about what a region’s priorities are, and how they feel about things such as traffic congestion and complete streets. I’m also involved in a club on campus called Clarkston Futures, where I’ve been lucky enough to meet and tutor refugee high school students in Clarkston, Georgia. 

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

My favorite thing about Georgia Tech is that it feels like home. The people around me are supportive and caring, whether I’m in my own apartment, a lecture hall, or a professor’s office. Every day here is an opportunity to learn and grow as a student, engineer, and person. 

What do you hope to do in the future?

I hope to pursue a career in Structural Engineering, which would allow me to combine my passions with what I have learned at Tech. I am eager to co​ntinue trying to make a difference in the lives of other people, and I look forward to being able to do that with a Civil Engineering degree in hand! 

Jovanna Patterson

Jovanna Patterson
Mechanical Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I am from Douglasville, GA. I chose Georgia Tech because it is one of the top mechanical engineering schools, and it’s incredibly convenient for me and family due to its proximity.

How did you choose your specific major?

I have a fascination with futurism and robotics. I wanted to create both the hardware and software of robots, so I chose to major in mechanical engineering and minor in computer science. Mechanical engineering is also a broad field. It would afford me some flexibility in my interests, and I believe it was the best choice for me overall.

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

I have an internship with Venturi Astrolab this summer thanks to the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship. I am also currently creating a business with my team from the MIT Hacking Racism in Healthcare Challenge to bridge the gap between underserved communities and telehealth companies. Next semester I will participate in the Robot Collective VIP to gain more experience in robotics.

What do you like best about GT? What’s great about studying here?

I like how many opportunities Georgia Tech has. It is only my first year, and I am always working on or working towards a new project. I’m never bored, and I feel like my time is being well spent.

What do you hope to do in the future?

In the future, I hope to create robots that can aid humans, especially in extreme environments like Space. I want to do research to expand the abilities of robots and make them more efficient.

Emily Surry

Nuclear and Radiological Engineering

Where are you from and why did you choose GT?

I am from Marietta, Georgia and I chose to come to Georgia Tech because I wanted to stay close to home and also be an engineer, so it was perfect for me!

How did you choose your specific major?

I chose NRE on a whim when I first applied to Georgia Tech. It was only when I began taking major specific classes that I knew it was what I wanted to do. I love nuclear physics and nuclear science, and applying these super awesome, complex concepts to the field of engineering challenges me in the best way.

What are you working on (projects, internships, etc.)?

I am currently working on finding an internship position for the summer! I am also actively involved in Greek life, which I enjoy because I love being with my sisters and hanging out around the house.

What do you like best about GT?

What’s great about studying here? My favorite part of Georgia tech is walking around campus in the fall weather with a coffee in my hands. We have such a great atmosphere here that really champions studying and working hard, but also appreciating the small things such as afternoon coffee dates with friends. I love seeing friends around campus and saying hello, or having study dates at the CULC. At Georgia Tech, friends are always close by and ready to help, especially freshman year!

What do you hope to do in the future?

I hope to work on designing new nuclear reactors to help with the energy crisis and carbon levels in the atmosphere. I believe in nuclear power as a clean alternative, and with the right innovation and design, I believe I will help create the next breakthrough in reactor design. Clean energy here we come!