Student Spotlight: Christine Smudde

uc davis materials science engineering graduate spotlight

Christine Smudde is a Materials Science and Engineering graduate student at UC Davis. She conducts research in a material characterization lab with Professor Jeff Gibeling, where she analyzes fatigue, fracture and creep behavior in materials. She hopes to eventually collaborate with companies to find and supply materials to the growing materials industry.

After earning her bachelor's at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as an Engineering Science and Math major with a Materials Science minor, Christine moved back to her native California and fell in love with the "small-town feel of Nashville" at UC Davis. Though adapting to the quarter system pace was one of the most difficult challenges for her in her first year, she has settled in and found a home here. She served as vice president of the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Student Organization (GSO) during the 2018-19 academic year.

Her words of wisdom to undergraduate students thinking about graduate school are to explore research options as an undergraduate to see where your interests lie and to "attend a graduate school that has more than just one professor teaching a subject that you're interested in." Most importantly, Christine advises to always keep an open mind at school and in industry.

Fun fact: Christine studied abroad in France while pursuing her bachelor's at Vanderbilt University!