Extraordinary Engineer: Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen

Kathy Nguyen

Savannah, Georgia

High School
Savannah Arts Academy

Degree Major
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Health Science Minor, Water Resources Certificate

Expected Graduation
May 2024

Security Intern at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada

Kathy, an environmental engineering major from Savannah, worked as an Environment, Health, Safety & Security Intern at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UGA?

“I love the diverse and vibrant community here at UGA. You can always find something to do or a fun campus event every day. The College of Engineering is a small college within UGA, giving it a small school feel while being a part of something bigger.”

Why did you choose engineering?

“I chose engineering because it allows me to apply my theoretical knowledge to the real world in practical applications. I also knew I would be challenged every single day and that I would be able to apply engineering principles to whatever I decide to pursue in the future.”

Kathy Nguyen and friends

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?

“Learning how to balance engineering coursework, extracurricular activities, work, and a social life is something I am still working on today. Practicing discipline and good organization skills allowed me to find time to learn more about myself and grow in every aspect.”

What have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference for you?

“I have learned to not let your academics define you. Perseverance is one of the greatest traits I have learned to cultivate while at UGA. You will achieve anything you put your mind to. You can truly change the world.”

What/Who has helped you become a successful student here at UGA?

“I express immense gratitude to my family, friends, teachers, mentors, advisors – everyone who I have encountered in my life. It is not without every experience, good and bad, that I have learned from to get where I am today.”

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

“My favorite spot on campus is the second floor of the McBay Science Library. It’s such a great spot for group study, to hang out with friends, and grab a cup of coffee for the pre-study grind.”

What is your favorite restaurant in Athens?

“My favorite restaurant is an Athens classic, Cali N Tito’s. The South Lumpkin location is a great spot to catch dinner with some friends after a long day of school.”

Which class has been you favorite at UGA?

“I would have to say Urban Systems with Ms. Katherine Shayne. We were able to go on a field trip and see the systems we were studying in our community.”

What has been your best memory at UGA so far?

“I have so many fond memories at UGA, but some of my favorites are watching the sunset at the Iron Horse and late-night Snelling runs after a long day of studying.”

Kathy Nguyen and friends

What advice do you have for younger students who wish to pursue engineering?

“Engineering may sound daunting and challenging, but it is extremely rewarding. You could be the difference you wish to see in the world one day!”

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree?

“I want to help mitigate the current impact we have on our environment and to design solutions to improve the health and safety of our community. I hope to be an inspiration to all of the first-generation, women, and persons of color who wish to pursue engineering and to teach young students in some capacity in the future.”

Read more Extraordinary Engineers profiles >>

Join a cutting-edge engineering program at a time-honored university

Apply Today Make A Gift