Sarah Duclos '19, BS Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Clifton Park, N.Y.
When I decided to attend Clarkson and major in mechanical engineering, with a minor in biomedical engineering, I definitely never thought it would involve cows — but one summer I worked on a biomedical engineering research project that focused on the mechanics of intervertebral discs in bovine tails. Part of my job was dissecting cow tails! Why? They happen to provide a broad understanding of how discs behave mechanically, and that information can benefit humans. I will probably use this research for my honors thesis, so my unexpected adventure has a happy ending.
I've learned a lot since coming to Clarkson, and I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities to do research, get involved in the community and have internships at interesting jobs. This summer I worked at GE Renewable Energy, doing mechanical-load analysis for wind turbines. It was a helpful experience to see how working in industry compares with doing research. That internship also gave me a foot in the door to work in another of GE's many departments for a future internship.
While Clarkson is well-known as an excellent engineering school, I also was interested in coming here because of the Nordic ski team. I love skiing so much that I decided to study abroad in Denmark in the spring. There will definitely be good skiing there, and the Technical University of Denmark has an academic agreement with Clarkson. On top of that, my twin sister, who is a student at St. Michael's College in Vermont, will be in Denmark at the same time!
In addition to Nordic skiing, I've been active in the Road Cycling Club and with cross-country running. I'm a member of Engineers for International Sustainability and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
Being a student at Clarkson has helped me in many ways, including learning to challenge myself. I feel I was well-prepared for college because I had developed good time-management skills from doing sports in high school, but I've learned to balance my life and to always keep advancing. I plan to attend graduate school for biomedical engineering and am confident about the future. Bring it on!