Kaylie Lau

Electrical Engineering

Specialty Program:
Electrical and Biomedical Engineering

Degree you are studying toward:
Bachelor of Engineering

Expected year of graduation:

McMaster University

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Fun Facts About Me

If your best friend had to describe you in 10 words or less, what would they say?:
They would say that I am both a leader and team player!

Share one fun fact about yourself:
I have been competitively curling for five years now, and I am currently a member of the Women's Varsity Curling Team.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years?:
In the next ten years I hope to make a difference, not only as an engineer but also as a female engineer. A few years ago I was selected to work with Ryerson University's WEMADEIT project to promote girls in engineering. This experience allowed me to understand the gender imbalance in the field and gave me the chance to interview inspiring female engineers. I hope that through being involved with ONWiE, I will be able to continue to support female engineers.

The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........?:
A recent book I've read which I thoroughly enjoyed is the novel, The Martian by Andy Weir. The story is based on Mark Watney, an astronaut, botanist and mechanical engineer who is left stranded on Mars. Initially Mark and his crew are working on Mars when a dangerous dust storm forms. Mark is separated from the group who ends up assuming he has died. Due to the nature of the storm, the crew evacuates the planet leaving Mark (who is very much alive) completely alone on Mars. The book follows Mark's struggle to survive which only succeeds through the use of his engineering skills, ingenuity and refusal to quit.
The narrative was fantastic as it demonstrated how an engineer might think through and solve a problem. In the book, Mark didn't just use his knowledge of the maths and sciences to get off Mars - he had to be extremely creative and resourceful. This is inspiring to me as I think it is reflective of engineers who have to think outside of the box and use different ways of thinking to solve a problem.

Profile Questions

Why did you choose your program of study?:
From a young age, I took an interest in the maths and sciences. I find biology especially fascinating, answering fundamental questions about the world around us. Electrical and biomedical engineering is the culmination of these interests which will allow me to incorporate biology/medicine and apply it to innovative technology and ideas.

What has been your favourite course (in Engineering) and why?:
My favourite course has been my Engineering Design and Graphics course. This course taught us to use Autodesk Inventor a 3D modelling program. This was my favourite course as I was able to learn how to develop effective communication skills in technical design and graphics, as well as model and simulate my designs.

What has been the best part of your Engineering education to date?:
The best part of my engineering education is the hands on exposure I have had to the field of engineering. The co-op program and co-curricular opportunities have allowed me to gain relevant experience in the field, apply theory to practice and get a sense of the profession. An example of this is how this summer I had the opportunity to have a co-op placement working Dr. Hoare, a professor in Chemical Engineering, to research how innovations in nanotechnology can improve the growth of crop-based plants. Another example of this is how I am on the McMaster Engineering Competition Committee, where I plan a competition for undergraduate students to produce a feasible design despite limited materials and preparation time. Similarly, engineers are often required to think quickly and produce a working solution given limited resources. All of these experiences have given me a glimpse of what it's like to work in the field of engineering which has only strengthened my desire to pursue it as a career.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?:
I aspire to study biomedical engineering and pursue further studies in graduate school. Ultimately I hope to research in the medical field and develop tools for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of health issues.