What UMassD women engineers want everyone to know

Women in the UMass Dartmouth Engineers without Borders chapter want students to know what is possible.

Empowering Women in Science & Engineering, a dinner and panel discussion with College of Engineering alumnae, members of the Women in Defense-Greater Boston Chapter, and other industry professionals.

Women in the UMass Dartmouth Engineers without Borders chapter want students to know what is possible.

“When I was in high school, engineering wasn’t something I thought I could do,” said Uxbridge, MA, resident Olivia Brochu ’20, president of the UMass Dartmouth chapter. “Through exposure at my vocational school, I was challenged to give it a try. And I’ve never been sorry!”

The chapter staged a competition for local vocational schools to build a balsa wood bridge and come to the University to test its strength. But it was also an opportunity for the students to model the possibilities offered by an engineering career.

Brochu said that UMass has given her extensive hands-on experience in a close-knit community. “The University is huge, but our class sizes are small,” she said. “Ring Road (the road encircling the campus academic buildings) is like a bubble where we all work together.”

But that’s not to say they don’t get out of that bubble. Engineers without Borders is an international organization that takes engineering solutions to communities that need them. The UMass chapter just completed a water project in Panama, and now are starting a new project to design eco- friendly latrines in Nicaragua.

Romana Hruby ‘20, another member of the chapter, from Pittsfield, MA, spent time on a Native reservation exploring environmental problems. “The challenge to solve problems pushes me,” she said. Tabitha Breault ‘23 from Spencer, MA, agreed. “I love problem-solving,” she said.

All three members of the chapter have big plans after graduation. This summer Olivia will travel to Disney World for the Disney College program, to explore her dreams to become an Imagineer. Romana plans to combine her student of marine biology, civil, and environmental engineering. Tabitha has her sights set on the space industry – and connected by their shared appreciation for solving problems and finding solutions.



College of Engineering

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