Student Voices

Carly Pawell, Chemical Engineering

UCSB’s Chemical Engineering Department is small, classes are small, and I know all my professors and pretty much everybody in my class, and they know me. It’s a tight-knit community, and we all work together very well. The program provides a much more personalized experience than what you’d get at one of the bigger universities.

We were told from day one that engineers collaborate, and to prepare for grad school or industry, we should work with other students to complete assignments. Our professors really encourage teamwork and collaboration.

There is a sort of creativity you need to solve engineering problems. We just learned about evolutionary learning versus process learning. In the first, you change an existing process to fit your needs. In the latter, which is what we learn, you start from nothing and make something. It’s a more creative process.

The Chemical Engineering Department connected me with the Materials Research Lab [MRL] through an alum who hosted a talk in which she discussed being able to travel as a student. I’ve now studied abroad three times as a chemical engineering student — in Scotland, Sweden, and Germany — which most people don’t think is possible. The MRL advisors, CoE’s undergrad office, and the EAP advisors helped me out a lot. I also did a nine-month internship with alumni- owned Apeel Sciences.