Auburn Engineering online provides new opportunities for connection

By Lauren Winton

Published: Apr 7, 2020 11:02:00 AM

Tara Battle Tara Battle

Working in software development for the federal government in Huntsville, Tara Battle, ’18 mechanical engineering, is the chief engineer of her department. Her career in defense spans many years and areas of expertise. Battle has worked for the government since 2010, and after moving to Huntsville, she decided to go back to school. But she did not want to slow down with work to get her degree.

“The Auburn online engineering degree was a great opportunity for me,” Battle said. “It’s an excellent way to get your degree while you’re working.”

Battle focused on mechanical engineering – specifically fluid dynamics and thermal sciences – and though her career has taken a lightly different path, she never lost her passion for the subject.

“I really enjoyed that area of study,” Battle said. “And coming out of my undergraduate degree, I knew I wanted to get a master’s in mechanical engineering.”

Looking for opportunities to pursue her advanced degree while working full time, Battle landed on Auburn University.

“I was excited about the program because Auburn was one of the few that offered the focus area of thermal and fluid sciences online,” Battle said.

Not only was Auburn Engineering unique in offering the program Battle wanted to complete online, but the college also speaks to another one of Battle’s passions: retaining and rewarding women in engineering.

“For a while now I’ve been looking at ways to mentor young women in engineering,” Battle said. “Most nonprofits are teacher-centric, which is great. They offer high school students ACT prep and help to interest high school girls in STEM. But I was really excited to learn about 100+ Women Strong because the mission is centered on women in engineering mentoring female engineering students.”

Battle’s main goal through mentorship is to help retain and reward women in engineering. As an undergraduate student, she faced the decision to change majors. But her mother was there to push her to cross the finish line and graduate with her engineering degree.

“As an engineering student, you need a support group or someone to help encourage you to finish your degree. That’s why it is so important for me to get involved as a mentor,” Battle said.

Battle joined 100+ Women Strong around the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, transitioning her mentorship and involvement to an online platform.

“Actually, the virtual connection works out OK for me,” Battle said. “I’m happy that our membership meeting has transitioned to an online meeting because now I’ll be able to attend. With work, I couldn’t make the drive from Huntsville to Auburn before, but the online platform has given me a way to connect with 100+ Women Strong earlier than anticipated.”

With the transition to online, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and 100+ Women Strong are utilizing the resources available to increase opportunities for alumni, students and future students to engage with Auburn University.

Media Contact: Lauren Winton, lmw0090@auburn.edu, 334.844.5519

Recent Headlines