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Infrastructure Technology Institute

Student Profile: Meredith Chow

In the summer of 2007, the ITI Research Engineering Group found itself overwhelmed with a continuous flow of projects, and hired Meredith Chow as a student employee to help pick up some of the load. They quickly found Meredith to be an invaluable aid in ways not generally expected of most student workers, and especially an underclassman.

“It was critical to find a student who could take on new tasks with minimal instruction,” says Dan Marron, ITI’s Chief Research Engineer. “The REG is a small group, and Meredith has helped immensely by providing another pair of competent hands.”

Originally from Miami, Florida, Meredith is a sophomore studying electrical engineering at Northwestern. She excelled in math and science in high school, and decided to follow that path into engineering in college. While in her freshman year, Meredith found herself looking for a job on campus and a friend of hers happened to know ITI Research Engineer Daniel Hogan. Meredith contacted him and ended up being hired by ITI. Since then, she has been included in a wide range of engineering projects.

“Meredith fearlessly and enthusiastically went to work on a number of projects,” says ITI Research Engineer David Kosnik. “She assembled field computer components, lab-tested a strain gauge array, and worked tirelessly in challenging field conditions to help with installation of strain gauges.”

“It was critical to ensure that the sensor layout and electronics were correct before deployment on the actual bridge,” says Marron. “The complex arrangement of strain gauges simultaneously measured axial loading, torque, and bending in two directions. She did an excellent job.”

Meredith responds that she has learned a great deal working for ITI.

“It has given me the opportunity to get practical experience and firsthand knowledge of what engineers do in the real world that I can’t get in academia. I’ve actually been putting concepts I learned in school into practice and learning some new engineering skills along the way.”

The REG is hoping Meredith will stick around for a while as she continues her studies at Northwestern. This summer, Meredith will have an internship at Massachusetts Electric Company.