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Women in Tech

WSU computer science major Tammy Platero is shaping the future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while developing her own computing career.

The Women Tech Council recognized Platero, who served as a program coordinator for WSU’s Center for Technology Outreach, with the 2017 Student Pathway award for her impact in the community. 

“The time I was able to spend at the WSU outreach office taught me how small actions can create a vast difference in the community around me,” she said.

Platero’s extensive community work included helping organize the FIRST® LEGO® League for over 3,000 children, leading WSU’s all-girls welding camp, hosting Hour of Code events to encourage children to pursue STEM, organizing a “Painting with Robots” event — mixing technology and art — at The Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City and helping organize SheTech, a STEM conference for girls held at Weber State.

She accepted the award, along with a $500 scholarship, at the Women Tech Awards in October 2017. “It was an incredible experience to be applauded by 2,000 people for community outreach,” she said.

While she no longer works in the Center for Technology Outreach, Platero continues her work with STEM. Over the summer, she presented at the YMCA STEM camp held at Weber State, where she led youth in programming microchips to make LED lights blink in a particular pattern. 

Platero, who recently served an internship with software company Ivanti and joined other WSU students on a study abroad trip to Finland, plans to graduate with her bachelor's degree in computer science in 2019.

Engineered for the Future

The College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology boasts the fastest-growing computer science and engineering programs in the state.

New degrees and a building will bolster that growth.

Students can now enroll in two new master’s programs — computer science and electrical engineering — as well as two bachelor’s programs — mechanical engineering and manufacturing systems engineering.


“Engineering is one of the largest and most in-demand degrees in the United States,” said Kirk Hagen BS ’77, WSU engineering chair. “The Northern Utah region is industrially rich with medical-, aerospace- and recreational-related companies. As Weber State begins offering additional engineering degrees, these local industries can be more fully served by qualified college graduates produced in their own backyard.”

In addition, plans are underway for the Computer & Automotive Engineering Building at WSU Davis, conveniently located near Hill Air Force Base and a number of engineering and aerospace businesses. The anticipated 50,000-square-foot space will support majors that are in high demand from industry. Donor gifts will provide 100 percent of the funding.

“We will have the full complement of theory, science and math needed for an engineer combined with extensive labs and hands-on experience,” said David Ferro, College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology dean. “Our students will hit the ground running in industry and at Hill Air Force Base. That’s our reputation. Our interns and grads are ready out of the gate.”


Master of Science in Computer Science

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

$87,570: National average for STEM salaries $45,7000 is the national average for non-STEM occupations
STEM JOBS are expected to grow 17% compared to 9.8% for non-STEM jobs

Engineering Freedom

Eight-year-old Torsten Lambert loves to buckle on his helmet, strap in his feet and take off on his custom-made trike.

Torsten has cerebral palsy, which affects his balance and motor skills. It’s nearly impossible for him to ride a two-wheeled bike, so five mechanical engineering technology (MET) students designed and built something he can ride as part of MET professor Dan Magda’s senior capstone course.

The idea for the trike was born through a collaboration between the engineering department and WSU’s Children’s Adaptive Physical Education Society!, known as CAPES! The program, for kids with physical and developmental disabilities, provides skill-building activities during fall and spring semesters.

Torsten’s mom, Jennifer Lambert, uses one word to describe what the trike offers Torsten — “Freedom.”

A Green Hotel for the Win

Prior to graduating in April 2018, interior design student Keely Lange was awarded the national 2018 NEWH Sustainable Design scholarship for her interior design project, “Hotel Carver,” earning $7,500 for herself and another $7,500 for WSU’s interior design program.

Inspired by the famous Wynwood Walls street art in Miami, Lange digitally converted an abandoned theater into a boutique hotel with sustainable features, such as guest rooms made from shipping containers.

“The use of shipping containers in place of traditional building materials, like brick and cement, reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Also, reusing one container helps save about 3,500 kilograms of steel,” explained Lange, who now works for an interior design firm in Kaysville, Utah.

Habitat Home for Vet

Associate professor of design engineering technology Jeremy Farner BS ’03 and his students designed and donated countless hours to build three Habitat for Humanity Homes in Ogden.

Travis Parsons is the happy owner of one. After his military service, Parsons ended up living alone in a camp trailer. His life turned around when he returned to Weber State to study electrical engineering.

“I just cannot believe that this is true,” Parsons said. “Sometimes dreams do happen.”

Building Community

When associate professor of design engineering technology Jeremy Farner BS ’03 talks about building community, he means it literally. He’s helped build schools, homes and orphanages from Ogden to Africa.

For his exemplary accomplishments, Farner was honored with WSU’s 2018 Lindquist Award. Since Farner joined the Weber State faculty in 2008, he has taken students around the world to improve lives and opportunities through improved facilities. He has worked with teams to build a women’s training center, two classrooms and a library in Mozambique, Africa; a dining hall and kitchen for an orphanage in Thaton, Thailand; and a training center, communal water spigots and preschool in Chiclayo, Peru. In the late summer of 2018, he and the Global Community Engaged Learning team spent three weeks constructing a library and teacher housing in Uganda, Africa.

“I am definitely addicted to the rush I get after working with other WSU faculty and staff for an entire year on these projects and seeing the appreciation of those we have given a hand up to,” Farner said. “We have a motto that we give a hand up, not out. We stimulate the local economy and morale of the communities wherever we complete our projects.”