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Natalie King: Undergraduate

Computer Engineering
Degree Program: 
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Pleasant Hill, CA
Undergraduate Institution: 
UC Santa Cruz
Graduate Institution: 
UC Santa Cruz
Natalie King, co-lead SlugSat

What do you like about the Baskin School of Engineering?

In my opinion, one of the greatest strengths of Baskin Engineering is the focus on the senior design capstone. It allows students to really bring out their own passions and try to turn those into an actual functioning product. You need to set out reasonable goals and execute them, which might seem simple but when you’re doing this capstone on top of some of the most difficult courses you’re taking during your time here, it can often be a huge juggling act. Although it can be stressful, it provides an opportunity for students to push themselves and not only explore their passions but also find a practical application for all the skills they’ve learned in their courses.

Can you tell us about your senior capstone project?

The focus of my final year at UC Santa Cruz has really been my senior design capstone. I’m a co-lead of the SlugSat micro-satellite project on campus. Our goal is to launch a small satellite that’s roughly the size of a loaf of bread into lower earth orbit carrying a science experiment from the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics and a linear transponder radio built by students within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. We’re building the entire satellite from scratch. I’m the integration lead so it’s my job to make sure it all comes together into one cohesive and functional system by the end of this year and it’s been an absolute blast.

What’s next?

I’m going to be returning to UC Santa Cruz for my master’s degree in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. I’ll be working in the Machine Interaction Lab, which is one of the robotics labs. One of the reasons I chose to stay here is the opportunities available to students here. I love the diversity of student interests. We have students who are focused on data science while others are focused on analogue hardware and Baskin Engineering really allows all those students to come together and share what they’ve learned, share their passion and build fantastic interdisciplinary projects. I look forward to exploring that further as a master’s student and I look forward to continuing my involvement with SlugSat and Amateur Radio Club.

What do you do for fun?

I just started rock climbing and I’m loving it but now that the weather’s great I’ll get back to hiking.