Ask an Alum

Ask an Alum!

Have you wondered what life is like after graduation?

Are you interested in a specific career and don't know where to begin?

Are you curious about graduate school?

When should I start looking for an internship? 

Are you wondering if student clubs are worth the time and effort?

How do I balance it all?


Adam James

Plastics & Composites Engineering, 2017
Senior Project: Design, Manufacture, and Qualification of a Dual Purpose 3-point and 4-point reversed flexural fatigue loading fixture

About Me

Graduating from High School with a strong passion for the field of Engineering and Design led me towards Western Washington University’s (WWU) PCE program. The engineering program at Western is completely HANDS ON. It truly prepared me for the internship I attained while completing my degree. Throughout the course of my college career I interned at Alpha Technologies Inc. as a Product Development Engineering Intern in Bellingham for 2 years working part time while still allowing me to attain my engineering degree in 4 years. We worked on Power Supply enclosures solving such problems as conflicting hardware on printed circuit board assembly enclosures, testing the effectiveness of ultrasonic welding on injection molded components, and making prototypes for security camera mounting brackets to attach to power nodes increasing surveillance of company property. Although I attained my degree in Plastics and Composites Engineering, the program truly provided me with not only the proper knowledge, but the ability to learn where to attain the knowledge to solve a certain problem in the vast field that is Materials Engineering and Design. If developing prototypes with 3D printers, plastics and composites product design AND development, materials research, FEA analysis, Designed Experiments, and materials characterization sound interesting, I would highly recommend the PCE Program at WWU. If you have any questions regarding my experience or the program as a whole, feel free to contact me via my email above and I will be happy to answer any questions. 


Rachel Leacock

Manufacturing Engineering, 2016
Manufacturing Engineer at L3 EDD
Contact Pre-major Advisor for Rachel's email


About Me

Initially I pursued a Plastics and Composites Degree before realizing the classes I enjoyed more closely align with Manufacturing Engineering. During my years at Western I held a variety of career enhancing positions. I had internships as a quality assurance tester at a software company, an engineering intern at R&D Plastics, a lean manufacturing engineering intern at SpaceX, and an volunteering intern in India. I was also president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and assisted the Baja SAE composites and business teams. I currently am a manufacturing engineer at L3 Technologies.

If you have any questions about being unsure which major to choose, internships, clubs, travling abroad or engineering at Western in general feel free to email me!


Katie Peltonen

Industrial Technology - Vehicle Design, 2016
Turbomachinery Engineer at SpaceX                                                               
Contact Pre-major Advisor for Katie's email

About Me

I specifically chose to attend Western Washington University for its Vehicle Research Institute program and for the Formula/Baja SAE teams. Fall quarter of freshman year I began pursuing the Industrial Technology – Vehicle Design major. While at Western I was heavily involved with two clubs on campus. I was the Brake Lead and Business Director for the WWU Racing team and the Treasurer and Vice President of the WWU Society of Women Engineers. Throughout college I gained real world experience through internships in the automotive and aerospace industry. I was an Electric Vehicle Project intern at an EV charging company, a Chassis Design intern at Honda Research and Development, and a Propulsion Turbomachinery Engineering intern at SpaceX. I currently work as Turbomachinery engineer at SpaceX.

Please contact me for questions regarding course/major selection, clubs, internships, job searches, life after graduation, etc… My hope is to provide my knowledge and experience to assist students towards their academic and career oriented goals.