2012 Top 24: Andrea Palmer, The Robot Expert 0
Mechanical engineering student Andrea Palmer toys with one of the UBC Thunderbots - autonomous soccer-playing robots - at a University of B.C. lab. (CARMINE MARINELLI/24 HOURS)
As technical lead and team captain of the autonomous soccer-playing robot team the University of B.C. Thunderbots, third-year mechanical engineering student Andrea Palmer has quite the responsibility.
Palmer oversees project management for the group that does everything from actual robot design to creating the systems that control the robots when they're on the "field" in competition.
"I was looking for a way to get involved - I had seen a news release a year before when the team went to Singapore and my mom and I thought it was really cool."
Made up of primarily engineering and computer science students, it's a good thing that Palmer didn't pursue her original direction of studies.
"I wanted to be a teacher, but my mom told me I should try engineering. It's similar to science and math, which I really liked, and I might get a job out of it so I decided she's a smart lady and I should listen to her," said Palmer, laughing.
While in high school, she never considered pursuing engineering partly due to a lack of awareness. She joined the Women in Engineering student council to promote the faculty and provide support for the still low numbers of female students in the field.
Currently on a co-op placement, Palmer works as a network engineer overseeing wireless radio systems at SemiosBIO, an agricultural pest management company. With three years of studies left, her future still isn't set in stone.
"My dream job? Working with people in a technological field in some way."
We asked you to nominate the region's best and brightest students for our two-week feature Top 24 Under 24. Now we're profiling young people already making big strides in the world through volunteering, entrepreneurial spirit and technological innovation