Have you ever looked at a robot and wondered how it was assembled? How each miniscule part was put together or how it functioned as a whole? For Society of Women Engineers President, Jessie Klemme, robotics is second nature. Her love for robotics and engineering stemmed from a young age and continued through her college career. Her mom was involved in SWE during her time at Purdue and Jessie eagerly started her involvement at Cal Poly as soon as she could.
Before college, Jessie was on a robotics team where their main focus was to present the importance of engineering. When she entered her first year in college, she knew her involvement in SWE would be well worth the while.
“Coming into college, I knew how much it could benefit me,” Jessie said. “So I dove feet first and committed. I wanted to share with everyone how great it was going to be.”
The purpose of the club is to promote engineering as a career for younger students. The club supports current female engineers at Cal Poly, trying to make new connections with friends and faculty Jessie said.
“I’ve used SWE as my network, friends, family and community on this campus,” she said. “The more you get involved in any group, that’s when you really benefit the most from it.”
Jessie was definitely right.
In her sophomore year, she created a position within SWE called First Robotics Director. This position allowed the club to work closely with the Girl Scout Council of Central California and create the first Lego League team, eventually leading to Jessie’s knowledge of a robotics camp hosted at the local San Luis Obispo High School.
While attending the event, she noticed how cramped the space was. Without hesitation she went up to a teacher, handed out her business card and offered Cal Poly’s engineering buildings as a facility to host the tournament.
Hosting the event allowed SWE to create campus tours and allow younger, prospective students see student engineers being involved.
“It’s the connections for the younger ages that I really like and it makes me happy to see the impact I have,” Jessie said.
The Vex Robotics Competition will take place on Saturday January 25. It is open to any middle and high school VEX robotics teams.
Jessie told HCCP that SWE focuses on developing all types of engineers. It is important to grow as an individual and prepare to graduate into a diverse work group.
She also cleared up a common misconception about being an engineer.
“One thing I always stress is that you don’t have to be great at math and science to be an engineer. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, anyone can be an engineer,” she said.
Jessie’s contributions to the SWE club are notable and her passion for engineering will always be remembered.
Fun fact: She is a lifetime Girl Scout member, and rode on their 100th anniversary Rose Float next to a robot that represented the robot her team took to the world championships.
Jessie is a fifth year Environmental Engineer with a minor in Construction Management. She is from Long Beach, California. On campus, she is also involved with her major specific club, the Society of Environmental Engineers.