Five Questions Friday with Kimberly Wenger of the Virginia Tech Blind Driver Challenge

Note: This is being reposted from The SolidWorks Blog

IMG_6685_2 Name:
Kimberly Wenger

Title: Virginia Tech senior and student leader of the Virginia Tech Blind Driver Challenge project, an initiative to create a vehicle that is capable of being operated by a blind driver.

Major: Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Business

Home town: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

1) Why do you participate in the Blind Driver Challenge?
I was interested in learning more about the technology incorporated in the project and working on a project that had a direct impact on people's lives. I have always been interested in working for a company or on a project that involves designing for a target audience. I got just that with this project. Seeing the faces of the people that test drive the vehicle makes the entire project worth it.

2) What is the proudest moment of your college career?
The proudest moment of my college career was probably getting my internship for this coming summer. This past fall semester, I had picked out a few companies that I thought were high reaches, some that were good matches, and others that I will settle for. (I won't name the companies!) Then, I ventured out to talk to all of the companies of my list and try to get interviews or jobs. I didn't think that I would get any of my high-reach companies, but then I got a call from Frito-Lay, one of the companies under the umbrella of PepsiCo, for an interview. PepsiCo was the top company on my high-reach list! I went through the interview process and ended up getting the job, and I am more than excited to work for them this summer!

3) What goal inspires you most?
One of the biggest goals that I have in life is to open my own business. This has driven me to get a minor in business so that I can have a background in the area to hold a management position in a company in the near future. After I gain more experience, I want to possibly get my MBA and then open a business that directly deals with its customers and designs products that are suited for a single customer's needs.

4) How has SolidWorks made a difference in your life?
I learned SolidWorks in my internship after my freshman year of college and really loved all of the applications that I discovered for Mechanical Engineering Design. After that, I used SolidWorks in Blind Driver to create 3D models of mounts for the vehicles. SolidWorks has given me a basis for all 3D modeling programs and has inspired me to be interested in the design and R&D aspect of engineering.

5)  What do you for fun?
I am passionate about water sports. My family has had a small lake house in Indiana for over 50 years, and I have lived at that house every summer since I was 2. I learned to water ski at the age of 5 and have loved it ever since! I am also a musician, playing the trumpet in the Marching Virginians at Virginia Tech. In addition to that, I love to shoot skeet and travel around the world.

Thanks to Kimberly for talking to us, and for all the work that you're doing at Virginia Tech. If anyone reading has an idea for someone we should feature, let me know.

Matthew West

SolidWorks alumnus. I like plate reverb, Rat pedals, Thai curry, New Weird fiction, my kids, Vespas, Jazzmasters, my wife & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not necessarily in that order.