Alumni Spotlight - April 2023
Bailey Hill '18
During her time at Oregon Tech, Bailey Hill '18 learned that the best way to find her path was to try out a variety of options to help determine the best fit for her. From exploring renewable energy engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering, to participating in internships, Bailey has no regrets about the path she committed to. Bailey Hill grew up in Eastern Oregon and attended Pendleton High School, where she was active in sports, band, and the National Honor Society. Bailey always enjoyed math and physics classes, and her parents encouraged a focus on STEM by purchasing her science projects, circuit building kits and promoting problem-solving activities. Bailey knew she wanted to pursue engineering as a future career, but she didn’t know exactly in which way.
One of Bailey’s friends, Josie Sams, who was a year older from Pendleton High School, was playing soccer at Oregon Tech and studying to be a radiologic science technician. She told Bailey about the university since up until that point, Bailey had been focusing on the other larger public schools in Oregon. With encouragement to try out for the soccer team, Bailey visited the campus, met the coach, tried out, and decided Oregon Tech was the place for her.
While at Oregon Tech, Bailey played soccer for her first two years. She also began her path to becoming a mechanical engineer by initially trying the Renewable Energy Engineering pathway. She took introductory civil and electrical engineering classes, and then realized she enjoyed mechanical classes more. That’s when she decided to go the mechanical engineering route! In addition to her studies, Bailey also got involved on campus by becoming a student ambassador.
Once Bailey began her third year at Oregon Tech, she participated in the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) to gain valuable industry experience. This coveted program provides students with two 6-month internships at two different companies. Before she joined MECOP, she wasn’t sure where her mechanical engineering education would lead her. The MECOP program was a way to learn more about mechanical engineering and see what she enjoyed. It was a beneficial way to meet people and try different aspects of mechanical engineering.
Bailey’s first internship was at Boeing in Auburn, WA, where she gained experience working in the aerospace industry. Her second internship was at Supra and Onity in Salem, OR. Bailey explained that her education at Oregon Tech helped quite a bit during her internships. She felt a sense of pride when mentioning Oregon Tech because everyone knew about the university and thought so highly of it. She added, “My hands-on experiences at school helped me not feel intimidated by the tasks I was assigned.” She also explained that her college preparation helped create a good foundation of engineering for how to ask better questions.
After MECOP, Bailey completed her fifth and final year in Klamath Falls. She and two classmates, Dakotah Webb, and Adam Arrington, worked on their senior project together and competed in the annual Catalyze Klamath competition for aspiring entrepreneurs. The team, called Linking Limber, sought to meet the need of people who use prosthetics. Prosthetic limbs and the mechanical devices included, are very expensive, so the team devised a way to scan an external limb, create a 3D model from the scan, and 3D print the physical model. The 3D printed model will be accurate from the scan in order to avoid a patient’s pain points. They intended to create a model that could be a faster and cheaper option. Linking Limber received a cash award to continue this promising endeavor.
Bailey’s internship at Supra and Onity reaped significant benefits. The company offered Bailey a position as a full-time engineer after she graduated from Oregon Tech in 2018. Her professional engineering career began as a sustaining engineer by fixing existing products in the field. Bailey performed tests with variable environmental factors to improve the quality of their products. At the end of her internship, Bailey met her future husband, Taylor Hill, who is also a mechanical engineer.
After three years at Supra and Onity, Bailey began working as a Dental Furniture Engineer at A-dec in Newberg, OR., focusing on cabinetry in dental offices. Bailey explained that she thoroughly enjoys the challenge of exceeding the customer needs. Outside of work, Bailey enjoys staying active by spending time with her 8-month-old puppy, hiking, and reading. She and Taylor are looking forward to traveling to Europe this summer.
When Bailey gave tours to prospective students, many students started the tours with their minds set on what their college majors would be. Yet, after seeing the campus, the labs, or particular projects, Bailey noticed their interests shift. Therefore, Bailey’s advises, “if you’re not sure what you want to do, that’s ok. Be open to learning new things.”
Following her own advice, Bailey tries to keep an open mind about her future in mechanical engineering. She says, “There are always different opportunities to continue to challenge yourself within your specific role, in your company, or at a different company.” The best thing she enjoys about her career is the ability to continue learning. We look forward to seeing where Bailey’s engineering career will take her next!
~Becky Burkeen, Director of Alumni Relations