Lauren Bilbo came to Michigan from Austin, Texas - attracted by the many opportunities available here. "Even though Michigan is a big school, there are so many groups you can be part of," she said.
Lauren joined the Michigan Research Community, a living-learning community she learned about during a visit to Michigan. She liked that it was a tight community, and involved research.
Her research project is in the NERS department. Even though this is the department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, she said she's learned a lot about optics. This research led her to declaring her major earlier than most engineering students. "It made me more interested in optics," said Lauren, "and I enjoyed the hands-on experience in the lab. We'll see where I go in a few years, but this is what's interesting me now."
Coincidentally, her ENG 100 class is taught by Ted Norris, Gérard A. Mourou Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials (C-PHOM). Prof. Norris is a renowned expert in ultrafast optics and photonics.
What's on the horizon for Lauren?
This summer she'll spend two months taking classes at the University of Salamanca in Spain, which will fulfill the requirements for her international minor. Lauren also plans to particpate in the Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program (EGL), saying, "I hope to have that global perspective from my engineering degree as well as the business perspective from the EGL program."