Browse more profiles
Meet Nicole Zimmerman
Meet Nicole Zimmerman

Nicole is passionate about two things: working to integrate renewable energies into smart grid technologies and sharing her excitement about engineering with K-12 students. As an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Portland State University and President of the PSU section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), she can do both.

A “non-traditional” student, Nicole decided to go back to school in her late 20s. She had always enjoyed science and math, but was largely unaware of the multitude of career possibilities offered to engineers until a former math teacher suggested she look into electrical engineering. This is why K-12 outreach is now so important to her; she wants kids to know from an early age that many engineers are engaged in exciting work dedicated to making our lives better and that engineering can be a viable career choice for many kids interested in math and science.

Nicole is currently serving as President of the PSU section of SWE, a professional organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in engineering fields. Nicole describes her participation in SWE as a wonderful opportunity to gain leadership skills in a nonjudgmental place. During her tenure as President, her goal is to develop a solid foundation for the PSU SWE section, enabling the group to become sustainable and future members to build on the activities of their predecessors. Participating in SWE has also allowed Nicole to share her excitement about engineering with K-12 students. SWE members regularly engage in K-12 outreach activities, such as volunteering as classroom presenters during February National Engineers Month and participating in MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) programs to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education among pre-college students.

Nicole has set her professional sights on becoming a power engineer. Her interests lie in smart grid technologies, power distribution, and how to overcome challenges related to integrating renewables into smart grid systems. She is excited to be a part of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, a college she considers to be on the rise, and to be working with ECE Associate Professor Robert Bass, who will open a Power Engineering Lab in Fall Quarter 2012. After completing her undergraduate degree she wants to continue at the Maseeh College to pursue a graduate degree in power engineering.

For more information, please visit:
Electrical and Computer Engineering (
Society of Women Engineers (
Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (