Sarah Walter, a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering, is the 2005 SAE WISE Intern. WISE (Washington Internships for Students of Engineering), founded in 1980 through the collaborative efforts of several professional engineering societies, has become one of the premier Washington internship programs. Its goal is to groom future leaders of the engineering profession who are aware of and can contribute to the important intersections of technology and public policy.
Ms. Walter is one of eight engineering students who were selected this year in a nation-wide competition to spend nine weeks in the summer in Washington, DC. Other societies sponsoring interns include IEEE, ASME, AIChE, and ANS. During the program, the interns learn how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.
Throughout the nine weeks, the students interact with leaders in the Congress and the Administration, industry, and prominent non-governmental organizations. Meetings with congressional committees, executive office departments, and corporate government affairs offices are daily activities.
Sarah will research and present a public-policy paper on ethanol as a viable alternative fuel for transportation. It will be published for the 2006 SAE World Congress.
Sarah resides in Batavia, Illinois, with her parents and two brothers. She enrolled at Iowa State University after graduating from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL. Ms. Walter is a cooperative engineering participant at Rolls-Royce Engines in Indianapolis as part of her college experience. She has spent two semesters gaining valuable industrial experience to enhance her academic career. She has worked in the manufacturing and the service engineering areas within Rolls-Royce. She will return for her third stint at Rolls-Royce after her internship in Washington is completed.
Sarah prides herself on being independent. In fact, her mother has said, "She got on the bus for kindergarten and never looked back." This independence and drive served her well as she has taken a leadership role at Iowa State. Sarah was the first female member of the ISU Mini Baja Team and served as the captain in 2003-2004. She has also active in the ISU student government and Alpha Sigma Kappa sorority.
Sarah will pursue a Masters and PH.D after receiving her BSME in 2007. She would like to return to Washington, DC after receiving her Ph.D and work in the public-policy arena.