Bellevue College students pursuing a career in the field of engineering sometimes feel overwhelmed by the difficulty and variety of classes that are offered on campus. As the founder and president of BC’s Engineering Club, Mary Huibrigetse understood these concerns, and wanted to create an environment where students in the field could work together on projects and provide peer support.
“It’s about community, finding that community of engineers, people you can talk to and relate to,” Huibrigetse stated. “You’re creating a community of like-minded people that’s going to go out and make a difference, and that’s kind of what Engineering Club does; it creates that community of like-minded people.”
By bringing more people into the fold in this community, the club is giving students that are not yet decided on a career path a taste of what a career in engineering might have in store for them, as becoming successful in the field is no easy task and choosing what classes to take may be difficult.
“It’s a competitive industry… school is overwhelming, but it really does pay off.” Huibrigetse advised. “Don’t let one class overwhelm you. Just because one class is really hard, that doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be an engineer. If you’re not very good at math, there are steps you can take to be better at math to take the classes you need to. Don’t let one or two classes overwhelm you and change your mind.”
In meetings, members of the Engineering Club research and brainstorm plans for large-scale projects. Currently, the club is working on a solar farm on the roof of the campus. This array of solar panels will help attain BC’s energy conservation goals. Since there is no available mechanism that rotates the panels to face the sun as the day progresses, the club members have been developing such a device from scratch.
The group’s current objective is securing funding for the project. “For now, we are discussing the solar panel plans, so we’re contacting the people that are responsible for the sustainability project at Bellevue College,” Marvin Lee, the club’s vice president, explained. “We actually visited a company called GC Solar, so we are writing a letter of intention to ask whether the school will help us fund it.”
By working together on projects such as the solar farm, the Engineering Club hopes to promote engineering as a field and help out other engineering students, but the broader goal of the club is to use their skill-set to improve life at the college. “We’re all about making a difference and making things better than they are. So at least for here, we really want to leave this school better than when we came here. That’s my big reason why I started the club, was to change things and make things better, and to spread the word about engineering, too.” said Huibrigetse.
BC Engineering Club meets Mondays in Room C-211 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.