Stephanie Sandoval is an electrical engineering major and an Honors College student.

How did you choose your major?

It’s so diverse! There are so many things that interest me like space or energy to name a few! With electrical engineering, I can do either of those things plus so much more. I know that I’m never going to be bored with my career.

How did you choose the U of A?

Growing up in Springdale, I was always exposed to the UofA. I did multiple programs on campus like Upward Bound and ESA where I met so many faculty and staff that allowed me to feel so comfortable here! On my first day of freshman year, I knew what resources I had and who I could go to for advice. This was my home before I became a Razorback!

What are you working on for your honors thesis?

I’m currently working with Dr. Zhong Chen here in the Electrical Engineering department. We’re working on optically triggered semiconductor devices that can be used in harsh environments such as high temperatures. These devices can essentially be used in future electric vehicles or even have space applications.

What interested you about that project?

Last summer, I did an REU were I was able to learn about different kind of batteries and the need for batteries to operate at high temperatures efficiently. I was very intrigued by all of the different materials that can be used to achieve this and how they can withstand harsh environments. This experience definitely left me wanting to learn more which led me to this project.

What did you learn from participating in the AAAS conference?

It was overwhelming not knowing what I was going into since this was my first experience at a conference, but I am lucky I had help to prepare for it. I was so nervous to present, but when your passionate about what you are doing, the judges and anyone you encounter will notice. Overall, it was a great first experience.

What is your dream job?

My dream job has changed so much over the course of the last two years and I’m still indecisive of what I want to do! One of the dream jobs I’ve had since I was little is working in the space/aerospace industry. I have always loved space and learning about all that is out there. Plus, NASA always needs materials that can withstand the harsh environments of space! Another dream job would be working for a national laboratory doing research and just keep on learning! I’m so fortunate I get to experience it this summer with my internship with Sandia National Laboratories. The good news is that with electrical engineering, I can do both!