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Dartmouth's Caitlin Lynch

Mar 08, 2021   |   row2k

"My education has always been very important to me," said Caitlin Lynch '22 in a row2k feature story. "I worked hard in high school and wanted to continue my education at a challenging college. At the same time, I felt that I have invested a lot in rowing and wanted to take my athletic skills to the next level in college. Dartmouth's high-regard in academics and research was one reason I chose it. The on-campus boathouse and being located in a quintessential college town were also major draws for me. I had a long drive between my home and rowing practice in high school, so I relished the idea of being able to walk everywhere I needed to go. However, what made my decision to attend Dartmouth was what I found during my interactions with the team and observing practices on my official visit. I had found a group of women who genuinely cared about each other's success and wellbeing, both on and off the water. After getting to know the team on my visit, it seemed that each individual truly embraced their role in the growth of not only themselves, but of their teammates as well."

..."The restrictions that have evolved around the coronavirus have delayed and damaged a lot of things in our society. As a college engineering student, I've felt my share of the burden brought by COVID. However, very early on, I became determined to continue making progress on my education and professional goals in spite of the apparent roadblocks.

"Like many other students around the world, I continued working toward my engineering degree with online classes. Virtual labs were challenging, and trying to collaborate in groups and attend office hours over Zoom certainly takes a toll. However, I learned through this time that opportunity comes in many forms. Hanging around the local airport near my Florida home landed me an internship for the summer and fall at a local engineering company, called Hascall-Denke, that manufactures military-grade antennas."

..."I'm majoring in Engineering Sciences with a mechanical engineering concentration. Outside of the classroom, I am gaining practical engineering experience in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the lab of Professor Kristina Lynch (the last name is coincidence). Our lab concentrates in creating small instruments launched on NASA sounding rockets into the aurora to take voltage measurements. I had the opportunity to learn 3D design software to help modify the brackets that attach these instruments to the rocket payload. Currently, I am learning about satellite orbital properties in a new project that consists of a large satellite constellation that will be launched in the next several years. I've been able to take a front row seat in designing the orbits for these satellites to ensure they overfly certain locations at the correct time.

"If presented with the opportunity, I would love to continue my flight operations journey with KBR and NASA to become either a fully certified flight controller for the ISS or the Orion vehicle team. Another goal of mine is to become a test pilot. Test flying new aircraft presents the perfect confluence of the highest degree of flying skill and the problem-solving abilities that engineers must employ. I hope that this will one day lead me to space."

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