EE/ECE Alumni Series: Grace CrumrineApr 4, 2023
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her
Grad Year: 2016
Company and Role: Battelle, Cyber Department. I’m a Computer Engineer and focus on vulnerability research and reverse engineering.
What inspired or led you to study Electrical/Computer Engineering?
I liked learning how things worked. I had a knack for science and math and enjoyed those subjects the most, although I did have a brief period in high school where I thought about being a photographer or a traveling musician. Overall, I wasn’t positive what I wanted my major to be. My dad, who was an electrical engineer, suggested I try out the engineering program first because in the end, it would be easier to transfer out of it instead of into it. I honestly didn’t understand what my dad did until I started my classes in college. In kindergarten, I would explain to people that my dad was an engineer, but not the train kind. When I was around 11, he tried to explain what Matlab was to me and it went right over my head. I never meant to become an EE like my dad, but it turns out that was the engineering discipline I enjoyed the most! I liked how I could work with my hands on hardware but also use software to manipulate said hardware. It felt like the best of both worlds.
What is one thing you love about your job/career choice?
I love how versatile Electrical Engineering is. I’ve worked with 3D printers that can print carbon nanotubes, HF radios, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, environmental sensors, robots, and now cyber security. (Although I’m pretty sure every engineering discipline likes to advertise how diverse they are as well.) But I love research because I love being with a project from start to finish. I want to get my hands on all parts of a process; it feels rewarding to see an idea turn into something real.
What is your favorite memory at Ohio State, engineering related or not?
Instead of a specific memory, I would have to say it’s the people I’ve met. I came across so many passionate, kind, and open minded people during my years at OSU and cherish the lasting friendships I’ve made.
What advice do you have for Ohio State students and new grads?
It took me years of internships and being in the industry after I graduated to finally have a sense of what I wanted to focus on. I encourage those who still are unsure where they belong to have an open mind and try opportunities outside their comfort zone. Even if something doesn’t work out the way you were hoping it would, it will still provide valuable feedback on what you like and don’t like about your job. For example, I had an identity crisis and briefly thought I wanted to be a mechanical engineer. I joined the Supermileage CAR team and got an internship at Chrysler. Maybe I could be a car person. I liked doing the electronics for Supermileage. Well, as soon as I got there and was surrounded by car people, I realized I was not, in fact, a car person. But trying new things helped me narrow down what I did like. I did learn how to drive stick shift that summer, so you never know what new skills you’ll acquire. Also, don’t give up on yourself! I got rejected from many internships and jobs and felt quite discouraged at times. But I was able to land my dream internship at NASA by applying multiple summers in a row after getting rejected. You are worth trying again.