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Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2019

Michaela Lynn Dye

Michaela Lynn Dye recalls that as a child she “was always asking my parents questions about how things worked or why certain things did what they did.”

Dye got answers to many of those questions from her father, an electrical and software engineer, and was able to put some of what she learned to use at home.

“I would help my dad out with fixing things. I would help with maintenance on our trucks, the house and do other miscellaneous tasks,” she says. “I loved seeing how mechanical devices move in everything.”

So, it was no surprise that Dye majored in mechanical engineering systems in Arizona State University’s The Polytechnic School, one of the six Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU.

“Poly has a more hands-on engineering program, which I think is one of the best ways you can learn,” she says. “I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

What Dye has learned there — particularly in thermodynamics, mechanical systems and computer-aided design courses — “really helped me figure out what I want to do in my career,” she says.

Beyond classwork, Dye’s education included experiences as a student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. As a member of the Barrett Leadership and Service Team, she helped with student projects for local community service organizations. As a Barrett Mentor, she helped to guide incoming freshmen.

Dye completed several research-related honors student projects, including designing and creating a self-watering planter box, developing a computer code program to calculate answers to physics problems, and designing 3D models of engineering systems to enable better analysis of the structural integrity of those models.

In other projects, she developed mathematical models to map flight paths for a hot-air balloon and a model rocket.

For her Barrett honors thesis, Dye conducted research and interviews to learn about the history of women in engineering.

“I compared stories from the past and the present to show how the representation of women in engineering has changed and what barriers still exist for women,” she says.

Dye, a Girl Scout troop co-leader, is working on a booklet about that history for Girl Scout members.

Dye’s academic performance earned her a place on the dean’s list in each of semester of her undergraduate years, as well as the Moeur Award, given to students with the highest academic standing. Next, she will pursue a master’s degree through the Fulton Schools’ 4+1 accelerated graduate engineering degree program, in which she will focus on mechanical systems.

Her advice for engineering students following in her footsteps is “never give up no matter how hard things get,” and to broaden their expertise beyond the technical aspects of their chosen fields.

“It’s good to have a strong background in math and science, but you need to be able to do so many other things,” Dye says. “You should have skills in communication, teamwork, organization and accepting responsibility. Make sure you focus on building these skills throughout your college years and into your career.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2019 class here.

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