Elizabeth Dreyer - 2016-17 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
phd Student, University of Michigan, USA
Country of Birth: USA
The summer before my senior year of high school I attended a program called Women in Engineering at Michigan Tech where we got to try out different types of engineering. During the camp I fell in love with Electrical Engineering. Later as a student at Michigan Tech, I took my first optics course and absolutely fell in love with the field. To me, waves make sense. I’ve been in optics ever since.
I get involved in too many activities (academic and non-academic) at once. It is a constant struggle to balance my research and my personal life with all of the other interesting things there are to do in the world such as participate in SPIE Student Chapter outreach or work with female engineering students in Liberia. I want to do it all!
My advice is to stay curious and learn as much as you can about everything that interests you. Just because something doesn’t appear to be related to your career doesn’t mean that it won’t help you in the future. The further I get in my education, the more I have realized that the boundaries we put on knowledge are meaningless. When you push the boundaries of human knowledge, all disciplines converge into one pursuit, and you find inspiration from unconventional places. So stay curious, seek knowledge and have fun while doing it.