Emily Crum is a sophomore who very recently joined the chemical engineering department. She is from Massachusetts and has traveled all over the country on her journey to UW. Instead of attending high school, Emily went to a performing arts charter school and then started classes at a community college. After a couple years, she decided to move to the restaurant industry. There, Emily developed her skills as a pastry chef, making everything from cake to fruit tarts, and found that she really enjoyed baking bread. She found the fermentation process interesting and realized she should study science and engineering.
Emily never thought she would become a chemical engineer, but when she began studying at Seattle Central, she became friends with upperclassmen Kate Schultz, Angela Kimber, and Paige Bennett through the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) organization. With their mentorship, she became president of the organization last year. As these ladies transferred to UW ChemE and became leaders within WChE, Emily also became involved with WChE, even before she was a UW student! Her most memorable experience at UW so far is participating in the Industry Panel last fall. During the Winter Quarter of 2017, she transferred into the UW ChemE department.
After graduation, Emily hopes to use her chemical engineering background to work on climate change policy for a future of sustainable energy. Previously, she had an internship at Puget Sound Clean Air Agency which grew her interest in using her scientific background to work on environmental issues. Emily enjoys rock climbing, knitting, gardening, watching TV, and taking care of her two dogs for fun.
To girls and young women considering the chemical engineering path, she says: “Kate once gave me a piece of advice which stuck with me, to remember that ‘you belong here and you’re supposed to be here; don’t feel like an outsider.’ I would add that it’s okay to come from a nontraditional background—just because you didn’t always know you’d become an engineer doesn’t mean that you won’t be good at it. Basically, anyone can do anything.”