Allie Brunson: Making a Difference at UC Davis Biomedical Engineering
Allie Brunson not only is a biomedical-engineering major: She’s also a staff member at the UC Davis Biomedical Engineering Department’s TEAM Electrical/Mechanical Lab, where she and her coworkers help researchers prototype ideas into reality. Get to know more about this amazing undergrad!
Who introduced you to engineering?
I had always been interested in science and technology since I was little, and many of my best role models and mentors have been engineers. But I think it was my older brother who got me interested in engineering specifically: He also went through my high school's engineering/robotics program before me, and I thought the things he was doing looked super-cool, so it made me eager to also take engineering classes.
Can you tell us a little bit about your high school’s program?
I went to Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove. I didn't go there particularly for the program, but they have an engineering program where students take specific engineering classes over the course of the four years, so I got interested in doing that when I got there. It was a great way to get exposure to CAD [Computer-Aided Drafting], machining (we were lucky enough to have a great metal/wood shop) and design processes. Competing on my high school's robotics team and taking engineering classes are definitely what solidified my interest in the engineering field. I came to really enjoy getting to design, build and work with my hands to create something. Being around other like-minded people who were committed to engineering also created a nourishing environment where I got to work with and learn from others, which I liked.
What interested you in coming to UC Davis and its Biomedical Engineering Department?
Living so close, I’ve known several people who have gone to UC Davis; I have always heard great things about UC Davis and engineering specifically. I had also been on the campus before and liked the environment.
How did you find out about the TEAM Lab and get involved with its programming?
I found out about the lab through the BIM 1 course when we got to tour the lab and use the laser cutter for one of our projects. I really liked the small environment of the lab because it reminded me a lot of the shop I spent so much time in in high school. It felt very comfortable and homey, but also had many machines I was unfamiliar with and wanted to learn more about. The 3-D printing especially was interesting because I didn't have as much experience with that.
Anything else you’d like people to know about you?
As much as I like science and engineering, I also love art (drawing, painting, etc.) and playing music (I play the drums). I also enjoy rock climbing in my spare time.
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