Kelly McNabb

Kelly McNabb

Hometown

Pendleton, Ind.

Degree programs

Mechanical Engineering

Year of graduation

2013

Place of employment

Co-op Placement: Tufts University

Job title and work responsibilities

I was a research intern studying polymer blends for fuel cell technology—alternative energy to reduce the consumption of oil. We started the research from scratch by making samples of different percentages of polymer and solvent and calculating the correct amounts to ensure the specimen could handle the necessary temperatures. From those we made films, a thin layer of dried solution, that had to be tested on several machines to see how well they could handle heat in a controlled environment. I was responsible for the Differential Scanning Calorimetry and ran all the samples and analyzed data to determine which sample handled heat the best. At the end of the internship, I and three other interns gave a presentation to professors at Tufts, and we presented a poster session about our conclusions at the American Chemical Society.

How my career relates to my degree from RIT/NTID

Originally I wanted to study aerospace engineering in college but since I been here at RIT, I've decided that I'd like a broader engineering background so I changed my major to mechanical engineering and am focusing on the material science aspect of that. I really was able to put the theories I had learned in the classroom into practice in the lab at Tufts. I'm using my co-op experiences to help me find where I would be most comfortable working, whether it be research, private sector or government. 

Advice

It's been important for me to join clubs and organizations that I truly enjoy.  For example, I'm a member of the running club, because I love to run for fun, and I belong to Women in Engineering at RIT (WE@RIT) and have been a mentor for that organization. It helps so much to have a break from academics and also helps with time management.

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