Hello there!

I'm Sophie. It's nice to meet you.

I am currently:

  • studying Mechanical Engineering + Chemistry-Materials Science at UCLA.
  • building the world’s most efficient vehicle with Supermileage Vehicle.
  • bringing solar-powered water systems to Arizona families with Navajo Water Project.
  • fabricating and simulating microarchitected metamaterials with the Rayne Research Group.
  • reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

About Me

I'm currently an undergrad at the University of California, Los Angeles studying Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, and Chemistry. I love learning about how the world works, from huge structures to tiny nanoparticles, and everything in between, and using those principles to design something new. I am passionate about sustainability, and hope to contribute to that movement by researching alternative materials and making things more efficient.

It is difficult to narrow down my favorite areas in engineering because all of it is super fun. I will admit that I greatly enjoy doing analysis (FEA, CFD, etc.), which requires a strong understanding of engineering fundamentals and allows for creativity in brainstorming solutions. I always look for opportunities to do hands-on work, whether that is duct-taping broken things at home, getting my hands dirty in the machine shop, or following SOPs precisely in a cleanroom. I never get tired of learning something new.

If you want to hear me ramble, I can talk endlessly about coffee and tea, the Bachelor and Love Island franchises, how Kanye West is the greatest artist of all time, strangely-designed roads, and why NorCal (read: the Bay Area) is superior to SoCal. You can continue reading about my educational pursuits below!

Projects

This section is a work in progress. Please check back soon!

Bruin Supermileage @ UCLA (2018 - Present)

Bruin Supermileage, formerly known as Supermileage Vehicle (SMV), is one of three collegiate automotive competition teams in UCLA's Bruin Racing alongside Formula SAE and Baja SAE. Supermileage builds and competes two cars: a gas vehicle and an electric vehicle. Our goal is to maximize fuel and energy efficiency.

* click to read more *

I joined Supermileage as a freshman, and was immediately hooked. Joining the club was the first time I did hands-on engineering work and had ownership of a project. I learned how to CAD using SolidWorks, machine metal parts on the lathe and mill, and 3D-print pieces to fit together.

I was active on the Structures team, which was in charge of fabricating the car body, a carbon fiber monocoque. We performed carbon fiber layup by hand, thermoformed plastic for the windows and windshield, conducted research to optimize the strength-to-weight ratio, and simulated composite strength and aerodynamics.

One project I worked on was designing a mechanism to attach the top and bottom fairings together. We previously used H-shaped slot fits. I came up with a design that utilized magnets so that the fairings fit together fast and precisely.

Structures collaborated with another team, Special Projects, to build a dynamometer. We designed it so that it could be used as a benchtop or standalone. I contributed to decision-making of integral material and design choices regarding extrusion type, plastic housing, latching mechanisms, and more. I also calculated optimal gear ratio, pitch, and chain length and found where we could source the necessary parts.

As a lead on the Structures team, I identified areas of improvement and structured member projects to address them, provided support and guidance for members (some brand new to engineering) throughout the process, and led workshops on using FEA software (ANSYS for composites and SolidWorks Flow for aerodynamics).

Navajo Water Project @ UCLA (2019 - Present)

Navajo Water Project (NWP) is a project under UCLA's chapter of Engineering Without Borders. We design and build a solar-powered sink system to bring running water to families in Arizona. Every summer, we go to Arizona to install the sink. This includes hours of digging rocky soil under the desert sun, assembling the sink cabinet, connecting the parts for the water line, and troubleshooting issues that inevitably come up.

* click to read more *

I found my experience in NWP to be very fulfilling and made me proud to be an engineer. We saw our physical and mental labor pay off when the sink system was finished and knew that the family we were working with could really make use of what we built. I also enjoyed interacting with new engineering students and introducing them to concepts and tools applicable to the real world.

In my time on the project, I was in the Civil Design team. We are in charge of the hydraulics and selecting all of the sink parts. We use information from the site survey to identify where the tank, sink, and effluent lines should be. Then we model the hydraulics in EPANET with different pump curves. From there we can select our other components (accumulator, strainer, and connectors).

As a lead of the Civil Design team, I introduced our team to the components that make the sink work. I led tutorials on how to use EPANET and workshops on fluid dynamic fundamentals, including pipe flow and head loss. During our weekly meetings, all members worked together to research physical and chemical filtration methods for graywater, create a bill of materials for tools and components, and write up an implementation procedure.

Experience / CV

This section is a work in progress. Please check back soon!

Mechanical Engineer Intern - Nikkiso ACD (2021)

Mechanical Engineer Intern - Miravel (2021)

Front End Intern - California Seismic (2020)

Barista - Peet's Coffee & Tea (2018)

Creative Code Apprenticeship - Gray Area (2018)

Intern - AFSF (2017)

Coursework

The quarter system at UCLA means I get to take a lot of classes! And from many different departments. Below is a list of the STEM classes I have taken, and a few which I audited. My favorite subjects (so far) are probably dynamics, thermodynamics, composites, and strength of materials.

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

* click to see classes *

  • MAE 101  - Statics and Strength of Materials
  • MAE 102  - Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies
  • MAE 103  - Elementary Fluid Mechanics
  • MAE 105A - Introduction to Engineering Thermodynamics
  • MAE 105D - Transport Phenomena
  • MAE 107  - Introduction to Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems
  • MAE 133A - Engineering Thermodynamics
  • MAE 136  - Energy and Environment
  • MAE 156A - Advanced Strength of Materials
  • MAE 157  - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Laboratory
  • MAE 162A - Introduction to Mechanisms and Mechanical Systems
  • MAE 162B - Compliant Mechanism Design
  • MAE 166C - Design of Composite Structures
  • MAE M168 - Introduction to Finite Element Methods
  • MAE 171A - Introduction to Feedback and Control Systems
  • MAE 183A - Introduction to Manufacturing Processes

Materials Science and Engineering

* click to see classes *

  • MSE 104  - Science of Engineering Materials
  • MSE 110  - Introduction to Materials Characterization A
  • MSE 110L - Introduction to Materials Characterization A Laboratory
  • MSE 120  - Physics of Materials
  • MSE 121  - Materials Science of Semiconductors
  • MSE 121L - Materials Science of Semiconductors Laboratory
  • MSE 130  - Phase Relations in Solids
  • MSE 131  - Diffusion and Diffusion-Controlled Reactions
  • MSE 151  - Structure and Properties of Composite Materials

Chemistry

* click to see classes *

  • CHEM 20A  - Chemical Structure
  • CHEM 20B  - Chemical Energetics and Change
  • CHEM 20L  - General Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 30A  - Organic Chemistry I: Structure and Reactivity
  • CHEM 30B  - Organic Chemistry II: Reactivity, Synthesis, and Spectroscopy
  • CHEM 30L  - General Chemistry Laboratory II
  • CHEM 110A - Physical Chemistry: Chemical Thermodynamics
  • CHEM 110A - Physical Chemistry: Statistical Mechanics
  • CHEM 113A - Physical Chemistry: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • CHEM 171  - Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry

Other

* click to see classes *

  • CS 31 - Introduction to Computer Science I
  • CS 32 - Introduction to Computer Science II
  • CS 33 - Introduction to Computer Organization
  • MAE M20  - Introduction to Computer Programming with MATLAB
  • ECE 100  - Electrical and Electronic Circuits
  • ECE 110L - Circuit Measurements Laboratory
  • ENGR 96A - Go-Karts
  • ENGR 96A - Soap Synthesis
  • ENGR 183EW - Engineering Ethics

Skills

Manual

  • Machining (mill, lathe, bandsaw, power tools)
  • Wet lab & cleanroom
  • 3D-Printing & Additive Manufacturing

Software

  • SolidWorks
  • AutoCAD 2D
  • ANSYS
  • ABAQUS
  • MATLAB Simulink

Programming

  • MATLAB
  • C/C++
  • HTML/CSS/JS
  • HLA (Assembly)
  • LaTeX

Other

  • Project Management
  • Scrum/Agile
  • PDMs
  • Microsoft Office
  • Customer Service