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WHM: Student Profile - Siobhan Madden

Siobhan Madden

Siobhan Madden is an undergraduate student from Sugar Land, TX focusing on Electronics and Integrated Circuits. She started at UT in Fall 2019. She has served as the power systems lead in Longhorn Racing solar’s team and a member of Student Engineers Educating Kids (SEEK).She also serves as a mentor in the Texas ECE TALENT program. The TALENT Success Program pairs students, staff, and faculty to assist students in acquiring the necessary tools needed to foster academic growth that leads to success as a UT Austin scholar.

How did you end up at UT? What path led you here?

When choosing a university I knew I wanted to stay in state so I could be close to my family. I was drawn to Austin since it is a big tech hub which would allow me to explore the full extent of my degree. However, it was when visiting the campus and, specifically the EER, I just knew that I would enjoy my time at the Forty Acres. The cherry on top was UT was one of the few schools that combined their computer and electrical engineering majors which I loved.

What got you interested in electrical and computer engineering?

My interest in electrical and computer engineering was sparked by my enjoyment of coding during high school. During an engineering summer camp I attended in high school, I was introduced to various engineering majors. It was there that I discovered electrical engineering had the hardware aspect I was looking for. The fluidity of the electrical and computer engineering major here at UT was also what drew me in. It was daunting having to choose a major that would also translate to a job in four years and this major offered the flexibility to explore different interests to find my true passion.

Who has been a major influence on your life?

Undoubtedly, my parents have been the biggest influence on my life. They encouraged me to work my hardest and engage in a variety of interests.

Their unwavering support and love provided me with a solid foundation from which I could grow and pursue my goals.

If you could provide one positive memory of your time at UT so far that stands out, what would that be?

I think my most positive memory would have been going with the rest of the Longhorn Racing solar team to the Formula Sun Grand Prix in Topeka, Kansas in the summer of 2022. Despite facing numerous challenges due to the pandemic, including a postponed competition, designing our car mostly online, and limited in-person work days, our team preserved and successfully brought a car to competition. Not only was it rewarding to see our hard work pay off, but the experience also brought our team closer together.

Why did you become a TALENT mentor, and why is it important to you?

As a TALENT mentor, I am driven by a desire to support and guide others who may be experiencing similar challenges that I faced during my own transition to college.

As a freshman, I vividly remember feeling overwhelmed by the changes in my daily life and questioning my place amongst my accomplished peers. However, with the help of friends, professors, TAs, and my academic advisor I learned how to navigate the challenges and realized that many others shared similar struggles.

Given my own experience, I love to provide mentorship and support to other ECE students who may be struggling with similar challenges. I hope to help others realize they aren’t alone and that it is possible to overcome their obstacles and succeed.

When will you graduate and what are your plans/goals for after graduation?

Upon graduation in spring, I have accepted a full time position as an electrical engineer at Chevron Phillips Chemical where I will be working at one of their plants in the Houston area. In the future, I am also interested in pursuing a Master’s degree in either business or engineering. I also want to continue mentoring girls with organizations like GirlStart as it is important to empower and encourage them to pursue STEM careers.

Women have long been marginalized in STEM areas. How do you think we can help/encourage more women to become involved in STEM fields?

In my opinion, the most effective approach is introducing the different job opportunities in STEM areas to girls at a young age.

When I was in high school, I still had a very basic understanding of what an engineer was and didn’t look into the different types of engineering until I was starting to think about what major I wanted to do.

That is why I love being a part of SEEK. SEEK is an organization that partners with Communities in Schools to mentor students in low income elementary and middle schools. We explore the different types of engineers with fun projects each week. I get to engage and hopefully inspire them to pursue careers in STEM.

It is critical to foster an interest in STEM early on to help girls naturally develop a passion and let their interests flourish.