Grad Member Spotlight: Rebecca Reck

7 Sept 2015


Rebecca Reck

PhD Student, expected graduation May 2016

Rebecca has been involved in SWE at the local and Society levels. At the Society level, she has been on the Curriculum committee since 2012, Grad Community since 2010, and is beginning to work with the Women in Academia this year. Rebecca has been instrumental in the Illinois Grad SWE group since 2013, serving as the social media coordinator and undergrad liaison. She has also been involved with the East Central Iowa professional section as the Section Representative (2011-2013) and Communications Secretary (2010-2011).

Rebecca has been named to The List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (2014), University of Illinois, has been awarded Honorable Mention in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (2014), and has achieved New Faces of Engineering from SWE (2013).

What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

Current: Ph.D in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering from University of Illinois – May 2016
Previous: MS in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University – August 2010


Give a brief explanation of your research.
My research is a mix of control systems and engineering education.  In control systems, I mainly focus on applications such as flight control, inverted pendulums, and autonomous cars.  In engineering education, I focus on instructional laboratories and experiential learning.  My goal with my engineering education research is to help ensure students are prepared to start working in industry, by providing relevant experiences in technical disciplines and team leadership.


What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
My goal was to get a faculty position in a teaching-focused engineering program.  I want to work closely with undergraduate students and help prepare them for careers in industry.  I start my first faculty job at Kettering University in the Mechanical Engineering department in January!


What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Photography, playing music, and making tech themed jewelry (some examples:


What’s a fun fact about you?
I built a Ferris Wheel out of Tinker Toys when I was about 3, that is probably the start of my path to becoming an engineer.  That path also includes helping my dad build houses, sewing/crafting with my mom, and asking a lot of questions.

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