Julie Gawenda, BS in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago
Julie is a BS student in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She was born in Chicago, IL, and developed an interest in the fusion of medicine and engineering in high school, when she participated in a program called Junior Research Scientists (JRS). It was in JRS where she assembled her first solar panel, built sensor-integrated robots, and developed STEM workshops for grades K-12. Knowing her passion for engineering would not stagnate, she decided to pursue bioengineering in college, a rigorous major that would continue to teach and amaze her. During her time at UIC, Julie has worked as an undergraduate research assistant for LaDu Research Lab, where she investigates the interactions between Alzheimer’s disease and the gut microbiome. She has also worked on projects involving machine learning, biostatistical analyses, and animal dissection. She also works as a teaching assistant for a class at UIC; CS 109, or Programming for Engineers with MatLab, where she introduces program design and problem-solving using MATLAB, a commonly used language for engineers.
Ultimately, Julie hopes to inspire other young women to pursue careers in engineering and share her experiences of competing in a male-dominated field. Besides her academic pursuits, Julie also plays on the women’s ultimate frisbee team at UIC and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers!