• Sara Ballantyne

    Mechanical Engineering Student at Olin College of Engineering

  • Student. Engineer. Leader.

    I'm an engineering student with an eye towards solving the world's big problems. I'm an innovator, an outgoing speaker, a change-enactor, a self-starter, and an eager learner.


    As a mechanical engineering student at Olin College of Engineering, I am focused on changing the aerospace and aviation world through entrepreneurship, innovative design, and strong leadership skills.

    I am looking for mechanical and/or aerospace internships for summer 2017. Please feel free to contact me via email - I will be a valuable addition to your team.

  • Leading the Revolution in Engineering Education

    Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

  • Portfolio

    A quick overview of some past projects. 

    Click to view lab report

    Autonomous Ground Vehicle

    Olin College of Engineering - Fall 2016

    • Designed and fabricated an autonomous ground vehicle for competition. Vehicle was programmed in ROS , C, and Python and capable of sensing and avoiding obstacles in a race scenario. 
    • Developed a full CAD package and design report intended to highlight each of the various mechanical design and fabrication techniques used. 
    • Developed roadkill CAD and documentation
    • Skills: Python, C, ROS, Sensors
    Click to view lab report

    Mountain Bike Frame

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2017

    • Current side project: Designing and fabricating a trail 27.5" hardtail mountain bike frame (and eventually a full bike) based on my measurements. Follow along for more updates and a completed frame soon!


    "Spectre": Smart Mirror and Cabinet

    Olin College of Engineering - Fall 2016

    • Designed the mechanical subsystem for a Smart Mirror and Cabinet system that responded to voice commands in order to open and close to certain shelf levels, as well as interact with the user through a GUI with several widgets such as time, weather, directions, etc. 
    • Managed project documentation and website:  poe.olin.edu/2016/spectre
    • Skills: Simulation, Mill, Lathe, HTML, CSS, 3D Printing, Arduino 
    Click to view lab report

    Essential Tremor Control

    Olin College of Engineering - Fall 2016

    • Developed mathematical model for essential tremor hand motion 
    • Proposed, simulated, and analyzed a control system
    • Developed scientific article on our experiment and modeling results  
    • Skills: Modeling, MATLAB, Documentation
    Click to view lab report

    Wind-Powered Kinetic Sculpture

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2016

    • Designed and fabricated wind-powered "sine wave" kinetic sculpture alongside four team members
    • Created full documentation packages
    • Skills: Sheet Metal, Lathe, CAD, Documentation

    Mechanical Kinetic Sculpture

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2016

    • Designed and fabricated mechanical "butterfly" kinetic sculpture alongside four team members
    • Created full documentation package
    • Skills: Mill, Lathe, CAD, Documentation
    Click to view lab report

    Facial Recognition Program

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2016

    • Developed a program for facial recognition using various matrix analysis techniques, including principal component analysis and the eigenfaces method. 
    • Wrote a design report to analyze the effectiveness of each of these techniques in recognizing faces across datasets and to compare the success of our program to other facial recognition methods. 
    • Skills: MATLAB, Linear Algebra
    Click to view lab report

    Boat Hull Design and Analysis

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2016

    • Developed MATLAB code to visualize and analyze boat hull specifications 
    • Designed, shopbotted, and raced a small version of our final boat hull design in a school competition
    • Skills: MATLAB, Shopbot 
    Click to view lab report


    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2016

    • Designed, developed, and pitched a startup product idea: Dealr - Redefining Business Interactions
    • Completed several sprint cycles of user testing, cold calls, stakeholder research, and iterative design
    • Skills: Scrum, User Research, Sales Pitches/Slide Decks

    "Stanley": Remote Control Sea Otter

    Olin College of Engineering - Fall 2015

    • Utilizing SolidWorks to create a hopping mechanism to meet specific design goals
    • Worked on a project team to design, build, and facilitate a play experience for fourth graders
    • Designed and fabricated a tethered remote control sea otter with a crankshaft-driven "swimming" motion
    • Skills: CAD, Laser cutter, Design principles
    Click to download

    Hohmann Transfer Orbit Model

    Modeling and Simulation Class - Olin College of Engineering, Fall 2015

    • Developing models for various real-world scenarios, including the physics of a Hohmann Transfer, the pharmacokinetics of Desmopressin Acetate, and the thermodynamics of the International Space Station
    • Utilizing mathematical models in MATLAB to study effects and predict responses
    • Skills: MATLAB, Modeling, Simulation
    Click to view lab report

    Introduction to Sensors, Instrumentation, and Measurement

    Olin College of Engineering - Fall 2015

    • Investigating circuit principles both mathematically and through various labs
    • Gaining experience in circuit design 
    • Skills: Soldering, Circuit Design, Sensors
  • Experience

    Internships and Summer Opportunities

    Mechanical Engineering Intern

    AeroLEDs, LLC. - Boise, ID - Summer 2016

    • Worked within all aspects of the company, including the manufacturing, testing, and design of LEDs for aircraft, spacecraft, and other vehicles
    • Attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 as a sales representative intern, met hundreds of pilots and fellow female aviators, answered technical questions, and helped aircraft owners decide which lights were best suited for their needs

    Life Support System Team Lead

    Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars: Summer Program - NASA Ames Research Center - Summer 2014

    • Led the life support system team for the proposed design of a manned mission to Mars while specializing in the design of radiation shielding
    • Selected for a week-long intensive program at the NASA Ames Research Center and Boise State University to design a manned mission to Mars
  • Beyond Engineering

    Volunteer Work & Personal Commitments

    Tradition after first solo flight - cutting off shirttails

    Ponderosa Aero Club

    Student Pilot

    Intend to complete training and obtain FAA Private Pilot's license


    Soloed in a Piper PA-28-181 Archer


    Passed Written Exam

    Resident Resource (R2)

    Olin College of Engineering Residence Life - May 2016 to Present

    • Attend to the individual, personal, social, and academic needs of students at Olin as a peer mentor, while working closely with administration to guide residential life. 
    • Provide leadership within the residence halls to facilitate the development of community. 
    • Work closely with first-year students during their transition from high school to college by organizing activities and events as well as by providing resources and counseling for mental and academic wellness. 
    Enacting Juliette Gordon Lowe (Girl Scout's founder) at Greenfest 2012

    Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council 

    13 Years in Troop 87 - Lifetime Member 


    GSSSC Board of Directors - Board Member

    August 2012 – July 2013 (1 year)

    • One of two girl scouts selected to join the adult board for a year-long term to represent girls in council-wide decisions and provide input for program development


    GSSSC Teen Advisory Council - Co-President

    August 2012 – July 2013 (1 year)

    • Led a committee of teens who advised the Board of Directors and other Girl Scout management, as well as created programs and events for girls in the council


    • Scouting Stars Award Recipient (2015)
    • Outstanding Community Service Award (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) -
    • Volunteered for the following organizations: Eagle Food Bank, Bishop Kelly Foundation Auction, Bishop Kelly Girls’ Lacrosse Camp, One Stone’s ONE Event Fundraiser, Organization Assisting The Homeless Student (OATHS) Fundraiser, Girl Scout Service Unit 87 Award Ceremony, Beautify Eagle Project, Girl Scout GreenFest, Color Run, St. Al’s Festival of Trees, Camp Invention, and various other community service organizations
    • Torch Leadership Award (2014)
    • Silver Award (2011) - Second highest award in Girl Scouting
  • Recommendations

    Maureen O'Toole, CEO of Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council


    "As the CEO of Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council and as a leadership mentor, I had the absolute pleasure of working with Sara while she was in high school. Sara served on our Girl Scout Council Board, learning the inner workings of running a business and participating in the governance process. She spoke for the voice of girls in the Board decision-making role. Last year, she went through a training program and became a mentor for a group of young Girl Scouts.


    Sara is a top tier student, a regular participant in extensive community service through both Girl Scouts and other organizations set high goals and always reaches them. She pushes herself to reach her full potential.


    Focused, organized, well-spoken, friendly, respectful, and completely comfortable in a leadership role, Sara is a tremendous asset to any organization. She exudes infectious positive energy and confidence. This exceptional young woman exhibits well-developed personal and group leadership skills. You want her on your team."

    Connie Miller, President/CEO at Icon Credit Union


    "It is such a pleasure to write this recommendation for Sara. Sara is one of those young women with a leadership component that resonates with those she meets, long after they have had the privilege of working with her. She has a level of confidence that draws others in, even among experienced professional adults. I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the board of directors for Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council. Sara was one of only two girl board members selected to serve, a prestigious position selected from among many talented older girl scouts. I observed her willingness to express herself and represent the girls and their opinions in a mature, articulate, and professional manner. Sara was profound in the work she accomplished and the presentations to the board. She took her charge seriously. Sara is impressive and also encouraged the adult board members on why they volunteer for such a worthy organization. She is humble and kind. She serves as a great role model for young women. She is confident and strong. She is compassionate and willing to help others. If our communities had more leaders like Sara, they would be healthier and more sustainable. Sara is that impactful. It is an absolute honor to provide her a recommendation. She has earned it, far beyond what I can express in a few short words! "

  • Resume

    Here's a summary of my technical life so far. Please contact me with any questions!

  • Connect

    Looking forward to hearing from you!