Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2021
As someone who has always been interested in the periodic table and how the elements work together to form the world we know, Ruth Oliver was naturally drawn to majoring in materials science and engineering. This field puts Oliver right where she wants to be: studying the many aspects of material behaviors, from the way in which quantum mechanics influence properties to the way fabrication can change performance.
“One of the most interesting things about materials science and engineering is that it is so essential to our understanding of almost every other field of engineering,” says Oliver. “MSE allows us not only to create new materials but also to understand why we use the materials we do in everyday applications and in very specific scientific applications.”
During her time in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Oliver was involved with many clubs and organizations. She was the president of Material Advantage and the vice president of Fulton Ambassadors. Additionally, she has been an E2C2 counselor and has volunteered as an activity lead for the ASU chapter of the Society of Women Engineers’ Gear Day activities. She also conducted research in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. Additionally, Oliver was a member of the Next Generation Service Corps and an intern for the SolarSPELL project through ASU.
Having the opportunity to spend time in mentorship roles has been one of the most rewarding parts of Oliver’s college experience.
“Mentorship has always been really important to me,” she says. “So being a part of so many clubs where I can connect with students who have similar goals and aspirations has allowed me to make great friends and help other students in their journeys at ASU. As an E2C2, I was often the only counselor at camp who was studying MSE, and if I found other campers in my major, I always did my best to reach out and try to connect with them.”
After graduating, Oliver will be staying at ASU to finish her master’s degree in materials science and engineering through the 4+1 program. She will then apply to PhD programs focusing on nanotechnology.
Oliver intends to reach for the stars. She dreams of one day becoming an astronaut so she can conduct technology-based research in space and low gravity environments, such as on the moon or Mars.