CENG Student Spotlight: Jackie Fritsche

Mechanical Engineering student Jackie Fritsche at the Hangar.

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Evergreen, CO

What made you choose engineering? 

I chose engineering because I have always wanted to understand how the world works. My parents would get annoyed with me as a child because I always asked why or how. I also love math and art. I found that those two things connect with engineering. It’s creative but structured. There is a reason why everything is how it is, which is very appealing to me. 

What is your favorite place in San Luis Obispo County and why? 

My favorite place in San Luis Obispo is Fosters Freeze in Morro Bay. I go there after I surf or on any occasion when I want ice cream. You can’t drink a root beer freeze and be sad.   

What was your earliest engineering project? 

My earliest engineering project was making a bird house with my dad in sixth grade. We had a family of birds that made a nest on our roof and I wanted to make them a home, so my dad helped me glue and nail and bird house together. It looked very wonky after, but I think it is still outside of my childhood home. 

Where do you like to hang out on campus? 

I’m always hanging out in the machine shops. I work there and even when I’m not on shift I find myself in the office with friends. 

What are your hobbies? 

My hobbies include skiing, climbing, surfing (anything outside, really), and drawing. 

What has been your favorite class and why? 

My favorite class has been Fluids 1 with Hans Mayer. I have never been more engaged and learned material more thoroughly than I did in that class. Anyone who has the opportunity to take a class with him should do it. His teaching changed how I approached every college class after. 

What’s your dream job after graduation? 

I can’t say that I have a dream job in mind. My interests are still changing as I wrap up my degree and find new things that pique my interests. I recently did controls and calibration for an EV company, something I had never done before, and I loved it. I’m excited to continue exploring more fields to grow my skillset and find something I would enjoy pursuing as a full-time career. 

What do you think engineering’s biggest impact on the world will be in the future? 

Engineering’s biggest impact on the world in the coming future will be space travel. As we advance our technologies and explore new places and opportunities, the way we live will change. Commercial space travel is just beginning, as can be seen with Jeff Bezos’ casual day trip to space. We will see what the future has in store.     

Tell us about your experience with Cal Poly Racing.

Cal Poly Racing has taught me what it truly means to be an engineer. I have learned more in that club that relates to real-world engineering than any class or lecture could have taught me. From being a general member my freshman year to being the first female team lead and running a team of over 50 people my third year in college, there were highs and lows. As much as I learned from the club, it also taught me the importance of work-life balance and what it means to find your limit.