2017 Alumni Profile: Kimmie Sandusky

November 15, 2017

Before the program began, Kimmie was attracted to Baylor because the Christian faith is integrated into all aspects of learning. Her heart drew her here to study engineering.

Q: What led you to Baylor and a degree in engineering?

A: In my junior year of high school when I was deciding what I wanted to do with my life, I went on a mission trip to Jamaica and we built a church there. I fell in love with doing things cross-culturally and being able to do something physically that helped people and gave God’s glory on Earth. I found Baylor, where faith was really integrated into the whole learning process. I knew I would be able to use engineering while serving the kingdom at the same time.

Q: You worked on Camille’s Swing, a senior design project during your time at Baylor. What was that like?

A: It was the coolest experience. It was really cool getting to know Camille’s family. There was no better feeling than seeing all the love that people have for that little girl. It made my team more determined to pour all of our time and energy into the project.

The day we presented the swing to Camille was easily one of the best days of my life. Seeing the joy on her face and her family and caretakers’ faces, it felt like there was finally a swing that could make her feel like one with her surroundings. 

Q: What challenges did you face in creating the perfect product for Camille and her family?

A: There are no swings on the market that are made for children over 50 pounds and taller than two feet. Camille was six years old at the time. We had a real issue with how the swing could be continually powered without overheating. We decided we needed a spring with the motor, like a spring in an emergency break. I got in contact with a few spring manufacturers, gave them the parameters of what we needed and asked them if they could send us a few samples. One company sent me some for free and two of the four they sent were perfect. The Lord provided like he always does. 

Q: After you graduated, you had an internship with Engineering Ministries International (EMI). How did you learn about their program?

A: The Humanitarian Engineering concentration requires a course called International Ethics. Intern directors from EMI came to Baylor to speak during that class. I was able to hang out with one of the directors, we got coffee and talked more about the internship. A few weeks into summer, she messaged me and said they had two spots open.

Before the program began, Kimmie was attracted to Baylor because the Christian faith is integrated into all aspects of learning. Her heart drew her here to study engineering.

Q: What was your experience like during your EMI internship?

A: My team was assigned to work on a hospital master plan in Kenya. The project team included professional architects and engineers. It was really neat getting to see everyone use their specific set of skills to work on the project. 

Our hospital was in really bad condition. There were drainage issues and bad water conditions. We spent two weeks meeting with administrators and hearing what they thought were their problems. In the meantime, our team was also assessing the hospital to determine the major issues. We met on common ground with the local administrators and determined a master plan. The coolest part of the trip was seeing how God provided for us. One of our architects actually designs hospitals in the States. 

The Kenyans were the most generous people that I’ve ever met in my life. It was really cool to live with them for two weeks. They were all so excited about the project too. There was a renewed sense of hope for the hospital and community. 

Q: It sounds like you’ve had some pretty amazing experiences working on humanitarian engineering projects. What are your next steps? 

A: It’s going to be helpful for me to get real-world experience in engineering. I want to focus on my professional experience and have a say in things that get a design. I’m also interested in construction. In a previous internship with a power company in Las Vegas, I worked on a solar plant on an Air Force Base. I loved being out with the subcontractors and seeing how things were built. I really love the process of engineering, but I’m more passionate about construction. I love working with people and I really like the team aspect that it takes to complete a construction project effectively.

Q: What would you tell future engineering students about the program at Baylor? 

A: Our [Baylor’s] faculty are very willing to invest in their students. That was huge to me. Baylor gave me a wider worldview and appreciation for the other disciplines and how we need each other. God made us all in his image and Baylor wants its students to know the worth of human life. If anyone is interested in the humanitarian focus, it’s a great program because the more you understand human beings, and invest in those relationships, the better an engineer you become. 

The biggest thing is God is faithful. He always is and if he has called you to it, he’ll get you through it and you’ll find so much joy in the process along the way.