By Alec Arbia, Written Communications Assistant
Emma Lucas, an undergraduate student studying material sciences and engineering (mse), is successful both in her academics and on UConn’s women’s rowing team. Emma says that balancing the two “gets hard sometimes, but having a rigorous schedule helps me prioritize what’s important and gives me the structure I need in my day.”
Emma has even won the Scholar Student-Athlete Award from the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). This award requires that student-athletes row in at least 70 percent of the regular season and/or at championships, all while maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Department Head Bryan Huey, who is a recent convert to rowing, knows just how committed one has to be to get on the water at sunrise and then work through the rest of the day, “Emma is a wonderful example of how our students can be so successful in the classroom, while also advancing their other passions or obligations like collegiate sports, band, jobs, volunteering, clubs, campus research, and so many other interesting activities.”
Emma chose to study mse after taking ENGR 1000: Orientation to Engineering with Professor Kevin McLaughlin. “We were able to hear from professors what we’d study and eventually do when we graduated, and I found mse to be the most exciting.”
Emma has also had the opportunity to work in the undergraduate lab. “My time in the lab has been such an awesome experience. I love working hands-on, and being able to use that to supplement my learning from sophomore to senior year has been so beneficial.”
As part of this experience Emma worked with Undergraduate Lab Director Fiona Leek. “Professor Leek has been such a crucial part of my learning in MSE, and I really appreciate all the hard work and late nights she puts in to help get things done.”
When asked her thoughts on the Science 1 building, Emma says that “The new labs are so cool and are making the undergraduate lab experience even more amazing than it already was. They have the potential to really expand interest in the mse major.”
On top of being both a student and rower, Emma has also participated in an internship with Electric Boat (EB), a company that has been the primary builder of submarines for the United States Navy for more than 100 years.
Emma says during some days at EB she’d do work on a computer with the help of her coworkers. “On other days I’d head over to the weld lab.”
Welding seems to have been Emma’s favorite part of the internship. “I struggled for a while in the beginning, but I ended up picking up on shielded metal arc welding. I was able to get a few of my welded plates bend-tested and they passed! I also attempted gas metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc welding, but I found those more challenging.”
As another part of the internship, Emma gained experience in the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) lab. “I was able to try my hand at magnetic particle testing for indentations in welds on a practice plate. I was then also able to see the NDT inspectors investigate some welds that eventually would be used on one of the submarines.”
When asked for a fun fact about herself, Emma revealed that she’s a triplet. “My two sisters, Sophie and Abby, play college soccer at Salve Regina University and Southern Connecticut State University.” Emma herself will be graduating from UConn in May 2023.
Published: April 26, 2023