An Engineer Plays with Notes

As a professional in Material Science Engineering, Gabrielle combines the art and engineering fields by looking at engineering with an artistic eye within her research and career. Gabrielle’s unique combination of the art and engineering fields comes from her undergraduate background in Electrical Engineering and Performance Art Technology, which allow her to study the technical side of all different types of art. Along with her Performance Art Technology degree, Electrical Engineering degree, and Ph.D. in Material Science Engineering, Gabrielle loves music and enjoys looking at the mathematical side of music. Through her music, Gabrielle is able to find connections between her two passions, such as seeing how musical equations are incorporated into electrical engineering, which helps her to combine both the arts and engineering fields in her life.

Gabrielle found herself in material science engineering by “complete luck.” Her father was an aerospace engineer, and Gabrielle always knew she wanted to be an engineer from watching her the work of her father.  After her undergraduate education, the first project Gabrielle was to work on fell through, and she found herself meeting with a professor in a materials science company. She learned “you can’t do any kind of engineering without materials,” and was able to continue using her electrical engineering skills on this new path. Gabrielle participates in research, and she believes trying to come up with the next best thing in research is very similar to the creativity of an artist. Recognizing the importance of both the art and engineering fields has shown Gabrielle how invention and creativity are what push engineering forward.

Gabrielle began playing the violin at the age of two, and she continues to use music as her creative release. Through her own experience in the arts, Gabrielle combines her skills from music and engineering because she enjoys being able to take different approaches to problems. Although she uses her artistic side in her everyday work, Gabrielle also finds it important to use music as a separate outlet. She is able to use her music as an escape from engineering when things get too heavy, and she is also able to use engineering as her escape from music when she needs a fresh perspective. Throughout her time in engineering and music, Gabrielle has realized it is not always possible to have a complete balance between the art and engineering fields. She encourages anyone trying to find a balance between the two to “listen to yourself and don’t always expect to give as much time as you want to both, but don’t let the other completely fade out.”


Fall 2018

Torie Tracy


The House for Proteges


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