We asked our community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and supporters to share their stories. Thank you to Victoria Rosborough, current graduate student in Electrical & Computer Engineering, for this submission:
What's your area of study?
I study integrated photonics - light on a chip.
What kind of projects or research are you currently working on? What do you find most exciting about it?
I work on the design, fabrication and testing of a free space laser transmitter for satellite communications. This work will help enable a vision of the future where information is relayed around the world and our solar system via satellite-to-satellite and satellite-to-ground links. It’s very exciting to work on a novel design concept for such a high impact application.
If a high school or undergrad student wanted to do what you do today, what is the best way to get there?
Students can get started in the integrated photonics field by studying electrical engineering, physics, materials science and related subjects in undergrad. Seeking out research internships as early as possible to get experience and make connections is vital. Internships are also a great way to test out different career paths.
Why did you choose to come to UCSB?
A year ago I had the opportunity to transfer to UCSB with my advisor, Professor Klamkin, and I chose to move across the country because UCSB has a world-renowned photonics program and community. I definitely made the right decision by moving – the UCSB College of Engineering is not only prestigious, the students and professors are supportive and collaborative and the college is active in promoting women in STEM and sharing knowledge with the greater Santa Barbara community through numerous outreach programs.
What advice do you have to offer for undergrads who are trying to figure out what they want to do?
I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to study when I was an undergraduate and, when I did decide to major in physics, I had little idea of the career options available to me. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school and do research, but I didn’t learn about integrated photonics until I was applying to Ph.D. programs. My recommendation to the undergraduate student contemplating her career options is to pursue your interests while keeping an open mind. Use opportunities such as classes, internships, clubs, conferences and connections to try on specializations and each experience will help you refine your focus and goals.
Thank you, Victoria!