Ashley Smith is a senior in Biosystems Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering. She spent summer 2012 studying abroad on the HSP trip in Japan and on an engineering study abroad in Belgium. A sophomore at the time, this high-level involvement with water resource management in Belgium was a true eye-opener to the varying environmental policies and needs around the globe. The most important aspect of the courses was the field trips taken every week. These ranged from seeing groundwater sources in caves to visiting a large-scale composting facility, to visiting a swine farm and investigating how the operation was entirely run on animal waste by way of a bioreactor. Being able to learn with students from other universities, converse with international students and officials, fully experience another culture, and study such important global environmental issues are experiences she would not trade for the world.
Back at UT, Ashley is heavily involved with the Society of Women Engineers. She is currently the Treasurer of the UT branch and will serve in the same position next year. In addition to this, she is planning and coordinating an outreach event to reach over 300 high school girls and their parents. This event will introduce them to the benefits of engineering, how to prepare for studying at a university while still in high school, and how to be successful in college.
Ashley's ultimate career goal is to reduce the environmental impacts of the manufacturing industry, specifically in the area of water resources. She is hoping to receive an internship in the food manufacturing and processing industry this summer.