Engineering a better life-saver
The chance to build cool stuff in Santa Clara University’s robotics lab is what drew Casey Kute ’08 from Louisville, Kentucky, to California. “I love hands-on work,” she says. “Actually building something helps learning so much.”
For her senior design project, Kute built a modular rescue robot with fellow student Matt Ambauen ’08. The machine resembles a tank and can be used to locate people or hazards in a disaster scene. It can climb stairs, carry supplies, identify different toxins, and find a victim.
The events of 9/11, when Kute was a teenager, drove Kute to pursue engineering, with the goal of building more effective rescue robots. Her robotics work earned her the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship; she was one of 54 engineering students in the nation to receive the scholarship. After graduation, she took her engineering skills to a doctoral robotics program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Currently in the Ph.D. engineering program at Carnegie Mellon University