Meet an Engineering Student

St. Thomas School of Engineering students come from all different backgrounds, cultures, and walks-of-life:

Meet Chloe Weber, an undergraduate student pursuing her bachelor's degree with a double major in civil engineering and general business management at St. Thomas. Her expected graduation date is May 2020.

Chloe Weber - Civil Engineering major

Name: Chloe Weber
Hometown: Chanhassen, Minnesota
Favorite St. Thomas class: Engineering Graphics and Design
About St. Thomas: Chloe admits she only applied to St. Thomas. She loves the smaller class sizes and the campus. Her older sister is also a Tommie.
Chloe is excited about:

Going on the London Business Semester. She has already taken the engineering J-term study abroad trip to Rome.

Why she chose Civil Engineering: Chloe loves looking at and learning about bridges, so civil engineering was a logical choice for her.
She's a fan of: Mexican food, good music, her Boston Terriers, spending time outside and Kit Kats!
Who inspires her at St. Thomas: Dr. AnnMarie Thomas and Dr. Deb Besser. Chloe says they both have created incredible careers and are great role models. She is excited to be able to do research for both of her majors with these professors. They are some of her favorite people at St. Thomas.

Meet Sam Wielgos, an accomplished undergraduate student pursuing his bachelor's in electrical engineering at St. Thomas. He will graduate as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in May 2019.

Sam Wielgos BSEE student smiles 550w

Name: Sam Wielgos
Hometown: Plainfield, Illinois
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of St. Thomas, May 2019
Why he chose St. Thomas: “St. Thomas Air Force members are like family. The upperclassmen take care of the underclassmen. I hope to be an Air Force Pilot.”
Best thing about electrical engineering at St. Thomas: “I find electrical engineering to be very versatile, and the creativity is amazing. Introduction to Engineering was an excellent class that brough together creativity and knowledge. I also enjoyed Intro to Computer Science as it was fun to program, and the professor made the class fun.”
Theatrical productions:  “I loved theater in high school, so I took Introduction to Theater my first semester at St. Thomas. I found out I could earn extra credit by auditioning for shows, so I did and I was surprised to get a part. I played Tommy Cliffert in "The Cover of Life", Harvey Johnson in "Bye Bye Birdie" and a role in "On Air - A Return to Radio”.
Two things most people wouldn't know about Sam: Sam was homeschooled until high school. He was excited about taking flying lessons summer 2016.

Meet Lindsey Bollig, an undergraduate student who pursued her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at St. Thomas. She graduated in May 2017.
(Click on her picture below to view a YouTube video about her research project where she used 3D printers to create a better transformer.)

Lindsey Bollig Engineering 3D printer lab pose


Name: Lindsey Bollig
Hometown: Farmington, Minnesota
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of St. Thomas, May 2017
Why she chose St. Thomas: “I liked that St. Thomas is close to my home, has a good reputation, small class sizes, and an excellent engineering program with lots of hands-on experience."
Why she chose to study engineering:

"I like solving problems, thinking creatively, and coming up with ways to improve systems. Engineering offers a wide range of opportunities for me to do all of these things."  

Best thing about her undergrad experience at St. Thomas: “The professors care so much about you. They go out of their way to make sure they are available to help you understand the material, whether that is in class asking questions or out of class in office hours.”
Highlights of her time at St. Thomas:  “Spending a J-term in Italy studying Roman Structures and Art. It was a great experience to not only be immersed into a new culture, but also seeing ancient engineering.”
Something most people wouldn't know about Lindsey: "I like to take road trips, especially in the fall, to go hiking and take photographs of nature."
She is looking forward to: "Using my engineering skills after graduation as I follow my passion into aerospace engineering. I hope to work with a company on projects that are at the cutting edge of technology in aviation."

Meet Rachel Gehlhar, a successful undergraduate student who pursued her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at St. Thomas. She graduated with honors spring 2016.

Gehlhar Rachel 550w

Name: Rachel Gehlhar 
Hometown: Hager City, Wisconsin
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of St. Thomas, May 2016
Why she chose St. Thomas: “It was a last minute decision between St. Thomas and an engineering school in Michigan. I decided that I didn’t want the long drive, and there were a lot more companies to do internships with here in the Twin Cities.”
Why she chose to study engineering:

“I have always liked math, art and science. I think engineering is a great blend of using analytical and creative skills.”

Best thing about her undergrad experience at St. Thomas: “The professors. Dr. Jalkio helped me identify a research project the summer after my freshman year, and Dr. Thomas, Dr. Nelson- Cheeseman, Dr. Green and Dr. Baxter have all helped me in applying for graduate school even though I have never had some of them for a class. I am really grateful for their guidance, especially Dr. Thomas.”
Highlights of her St. Thomas student career:  “One – having an internship in Los Angeles last summer where I worked on the Long Now Clock – a clock that is supposed to last 10,000 years. It’s located in a mountain in Texas and powered with mechanical weight. Two – meeting a Stanford professor who told me about his research with jellyfish, which gave me an idea to use to write a research proposal for an NSF fellowship. Three – my team’s robot winning the Machine Design competition last spring.”

Meet Charlie Kiolbasa, a St. Thomas undergraduate student who completed his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in May 2015.

Charlie Kiolbasa

Name: Charlie Kiolbasa
Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of St. Thomas.
Who inspires him: “My parents. I find my dad a very motivated person, as well as my grandfather, a Polish immigrant who fought in World War II and then went to medical school and became a doctor.”
He's a fan of: “Minnesota sports teams, most music (except the country genre), tubing on the St. Croix River, golfing and snowboarding.”
Research on 35W bridge collapse: “I worked to help research information on bridges in light of the 35W bridge collapse. I am working with Dr. Katherine Acton to help make labs for future engineering students using ANSYS, a modeling program which will show where a bridge under a certain load is the weakest and strongest.”.
What he has learned about the 35W bridge: “Up until the 35W bridge tragedy, gusset plates were thought to be the strongest part of a bridge. This failure was groundbreaking. The bridge failed because one particular gusset plate was underdesigned, and the stresses within this gusset plate resulted in a low factor of safety. If the plate had been made twice as thick, it shouldn't have failed.”
Favorite part of research work: “Working with Dr. Acton and learning to solve problems on my own.”
I am an engineer...: “who is always learning and solving problems, and knows each project means starting from scratch.”