Civil engineering senior Alex West has a lot on her plate, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
A lifelong Alaskan from Soldotna, Alex’s love for the outdoors, math, science and the art of design led her to study engineering; a field that she says is a good mixture of the things she enjoys.
Alex graduated from Skyview High School as a UA Scholar. She was involved in the National Honor Society, ran track and played volleyball and basketball. She got involved with the University Honors College during her freshman year at UAA, which has opened up a lot of doors for her.
She was recently awarded a $10,000 National Consortium for Measurement and Signature Intelligence Research (NCMR) scholarship grant to help cover tuition, books and living expenses. She also earned an undergraduate research grant, which will fund her research project, “Hydropowered Fish Disposal on the Russian River.”
Alex plans to design a paddle wheel device to be powered by the flow of the Kenai River, which will power a grinder that fishermen along the Russian River can use to dispose fish carcasses back into the river. She explained that the device is meant to help lessen the amount of bear encounters along the popular Southcentral Alaska rivers.
Alex enjoys being involved and said that it’s not hard to do at UAA. “You get to know people, and it helps me stay motivated and organized.” She explained that having one thing to do after another, like a checklist, helps her stay focused.
She competes on UAA’s Track & Field and Cross Country teams, and has been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team twice for her stellar athletic performance and academic standing.
She serves as the treasurer for the UAA Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and sits on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She also plans to be involved in the newly formed University Honors College Student Advisory Board.
Alex recently completed a summer internship with a local engineering firm and plans to stay in Alaska after graduating to work in the civil engineering field.