Extraordinary Engineer: Lacey Tucker

Lacey Tucker

Lacey Tucker

Ellaville, Georgia

High School
Schley County High School

Degree Major
Environmental Engineering

Expected Graduation
May 2023

Lacey Tucker posing in front of Driftmier building


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

“My favorite part of UGA is the community and atmosphere. So many people are motivated and support each other in our studies and personal lives.”

Why did you choose engineering?

“I chose to pursue engineering because it felt like the most direct and practical way for me to help solve emerging demands that our society will face as our population grows and technology continues to advance. Sustainability is survival.”

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

“I had never faced real learning curves in all of my life until I transferred to UGA’s College of Engineering. It is only through the support of my peers and motivation from faculty and staff that I found the perseverance to continue my degree.”

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

“All you can do is your best, and that is good enough. And you are only capable of your best when you are taking time to maintain the parts of you that make you uniquely you.”

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

“The McNair Scholars program has sincerely impacted my UGA experience. As a McNair Scholar, I have found a community, refined professional skills, conducted research, and been provided career direction.”

Lacey Tucker with people


Can you describe your research?

“I study the designs for the new generation of advanced nuclear reactors under Dr. David Gattie. We are analyzing America’s role in the field and how this will play into the geopolitical spectrum as the world’s energy consumption continues to grow.”

Why did you choose your research area?

“Nuclear energy is the only current energy source that is carbonless and capable of matching our demands. It is necessary for the world to be able to progress sustainably while renewables are localized and established.”

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

“My favorite spot on campus is tied between the Latin American Ethnobotanical Garden and behind the ceramics building where all the sculptures are hidden. They’re both so beautiful and underrated.”

What is your favorite restaurant in Athens?

“I love Butt Hutt BBQ!”

What has been your favorite class at UGA?

“My favorite class was Engineering Graphics and Design, where we played with AutoCAD all day.”

What is your best memory at UGA so far?

“I saw snow for the first time in February 2019. I thought it was ash at first! It was so beautiful to see a snow covered campus.”

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

“Don’t doubt yourself; this degree requires perseverance and self discipline. It helps to have a strong “why” for your reasons for becoming an engineer.”

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

“I plan on building a sustainable society, which coexists with its environment without harming or diminishing it.”


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