Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2020
Julie Pham says she is fascinated by math, science and physics, the essential parts of engineering. But what really interests her is using those disciplines together to solve challenging societal problems. That’s why she chose to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
“What surprised me the most about mechanical engineering is that there are so many different fields that intersect with a mechanical engineering foundation,” says Pham. “There are really limitless opportunities if you’re a mechanical engineer.”
A student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College student, Pham participated in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, EPICS and Next Generation Service Corps, and was president of the triathlon club on campus.
“Being a leader of such a large, diverse group of students at ASU, you have a lot of opportunities to develop a positive and supportive team culture,” says Pham. “There were several great leaders who were president before me, and by taking the role of president I had the opportunity to learn from them and implement leadership techniques which are applicable in any organization.”
A recipient of the New American University President’s Scholarship, Pham also spent time working in the Urban Climate Research Center where she did a project from start to finish and published a research paper about the project.
“I built a scale-model solar panel structure to measure the sensible heat flux from the panels, which quantifies how much heat the panels are dissipating to the environment,” says Pham. “It’s an interesting problem because while free-standing solar panel structures can provide shade and energy, they may also be contributing additional heat to the urban environment which should be a consideration when installing these systems.”
Pham also feels that she made an impact on other students’ academic success by tutoring and creating an environment for success as a tutor for University Academic Success Programs at ASU.
“I took each engagement as a learning opportunity and a chance to become more well-rounded, she says.”
Pham interned at Sandia National Laboratories for the past two summers, and worked on projects that were in the area of computational mechanics and numerical analysis for advanced defense applications. She will continue her education in the Lone Star State by studying to earn a graduate degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Engineering has kickstarted a career of continuous learning and challenging myself,” says Pham. “I know I will never be bored or feel like I’ve reached a ‘comfortable’ level. I will always strive to improve and commit to advancing society.”