Destined for great things, Louise Butler is the recipient of this year’s 2014 University of Utah Alumni Association Young Alumni Outstanding Senior Award. “Graduating in mechanical engineering with one of the top GPAs in the department, I fully expect Louise Butler to do amazing as an alumna of the University of Utah,” notes her faculty advisor, mechanical engineering associate professor Meredith Metzger. During the past year, Metzger met with Louise – who took on the role of project leader – and her senior design team weekly. “Louise has come up with creative design solutions and is effective in bring those solutions to life.”

Mechanical engineering assistant professor Kenneth Monson adds, “during the summer of 2012, Louise volunteered as an undergraduate research assistant in my laboratory. Working independently  under the direction of a Ph.D. student, she constructed a 3-D model of the rat brain that we used to visualize and quantify distribution of vascular lesions in various brain structures following blast exposure. This model allowed data analysis that was included in a recent publication and is a tool we continue to use.”

Originally from Kentucky, Louise grew up skiing at Snowbird and dreamed of attending college in Utah. “The U offered a strong engineering program, lots of extra-curricular activities, great sports teams, and – best of all – only a thirty minute drive to the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth.’ As a student, I have been involved in a wide range of activities balancing my engineering classes with the leadership positions on the Mighty Utah Student Section (MUSS). You can find me in the front row at every men’s basketball game or on the slopes each weekend,” reflects Butler.

louise-project“I chose mechanical engineering because of the opportunities to integrate science an art in one discipline. Engineering is actually much more artistic than most people would think and I enjoy being able to exercise my creativity within a technical discipline.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to work with Universal Creative in Orlando, Florida. There I was introduced to the themed entertainment industry, in which engineers work alongside architects and designers to develop cutting-edge technology and immersive experiences for guests. I hope to pursue a career in this industry as a ride engineer and project manager. To achieve this goal, I am planning to enter a master’s program in mechanical engineering and possibly earn an MBA.”

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education.  By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.