• Sara Ballantyne

    Mechanical Engineering Student at Olin College of Engineering

  • Student + Engineer

    I am a senior mechanical engineering student at Olin College of Engineering, with a passion for big ideas, design, fabrication, and all things that fly. Some of my passion projects include mountain bike design, working towards my private pilot’s license, creating competition electric RC aircraft, mentoring female students in STEM, and working towards greater cross-campus collaboration in the Boston area. I value design thinking and interdisciplinary teaming, have background experience with startups, and aim to spend my life contributing to large-scale, cutting-edge projects within and beyond our atmosphere.

  • Leading the Revolution in Engineering Education

    Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

  • Experience

    Internships and Work Opportunities

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    Machine Shop TA for Oxy-Acetylene Brazing, Plasma Cutting, Laser Cutting

    Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering - August 2017 to Current

    • Train first-year students on basic shop safety, introductory machine use during their first few weeks at Olin
    • Serve as a student instructor for oxy-acetylene brazing, with special interest in bicycle frame fabrication 
    • Serve as a student instructor for handheld plasma cutting 
    • Help co-create and sustain a welcoming, active learning environment in the Olin Shop where students from all disciplines can fabricate their designs and gain new skills
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    Product Engineering Intern

    Startup in Stealth Mode - May 2017 to Current


    • Joined as the first product engineering intern at a mission-driven company that solves one of the biggest problems facing families today. Currently in stealth mode, this company is led and backed by some of the most successful consumer goods entrepreneurs of the last 10 years. Worked directly with founders, lead engineer, industrial design officer, and offshore manufacturing partners.
    • Prototyped with an internationally recognized industrial designer to develop and CAD model a new product through the industrial design development phase so that it was ready for costing and production readiness with offshore manufacturers. Prototyped additional products in “design thinking” based iterations with designers, engineers, and company founders.
    • Created substantial portion of all manufacturing documentation for company’s first production launch, including manufacturing drawings, material specs, and manufacturing processes.
    • Helped develop internal system of part numbers, revision control, and file sharing to support scale-up of engineering team and manufacturing velocity.
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    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
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    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
  • Portfolio

    A quick overview of some past projects. 

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    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
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    Mountain Bike Frame

    Olin College of Engineering - Spring 2017

    • Designed and fabricated a trail 27.5" hardtail mountain bike frame based on my measurements and riding style
    • Completed bike build-up in order to ride Idaho trails in Summer 2017


    Click for website

    "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
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    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
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    "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
  • Skills


    SOLIDWORKS® Certified Associate - Mechanical Design (CSWA)


    Olin College "Ninja" (similar to TA) for Oxy-acetylene brazing


    Experience in systems modeling such as Hohmann Transfer orbit, Energy conversion, Thermal energy loss and gain, Eigenvectors in Facial Recognition applications, PCA, Boat buoyancy and stability modeling, etc.

    Adobe Creative Suite

    Can provide sample work in Illustrator, Indesign, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and Lightroom


    Girl Scouts (13 years) - GSSSC Board Member and Teen Advisory Council Co-President, Challenger Program Mentor at Bishop Kelly High School, Resident Resource at Olin College (R2), Babson-Olin-Wellesley Intercollegiate Affairs Representative, Brazing "NINJA" (TA), in addition to unofficial campus roles


    Over 10 large-scale team projects in my past two years at Olin with various unofficial leadership roles, R2 Team member, Student Government Representative, GSSSC Board Member, Teen Advisory Council Co-President and member, Girl Scout Troop 87 member, High School Lacrosse Captain


    Mill, Lathe, Sheet Metal, Drill press, Cold Saw, Sandblasting, and various other standard wood shop and metal-working machines

    Rapid Prototyping

    3D Printing, Laser cutter, Foam, Sewing, etc.

    Soldering (PCB and through-hole)

    Soldered through-hole and surface components onto PCBs for aviation lighting control purposes in EPA workstation (Electrostatic Discharge Protected Area)


    Packaging and Shipping

    Container loading design, packaging, and experience within shipping department at small company

    Python, ROS, C, Arduino

    Skills developed through programming of an autonomous ground robot

    Technical Writing and Documentation

    Build process documentation, CAD drawings and specifications, technical reports, meeting notes

    Additional Skills

    Problem Solving, Time Management, Public speaking, Communication, Email

    Additional Program and Language Experience

    Grabcad, Microsoft Office, Mathematica, LaTeX, HTML, CSS, Spanish (in progress)

  • 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

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    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

    Troop #87

    First Grade through High School Graduation (13 years)

    • Member of a tight-knit group of girls with plans to "make the world a better place and be a sister to every girl scout"
    • Led, as a troop, a young Daisy girl scout troop that did not have a leader for their founding year


    • 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

    For formal recommendations and contact info, please reach out to me via email or Linkedin

    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!