APRIL, 2019
EPIC is excited to share our Spotlight on Students! With the growing popularity of energy related studies, we want you to get to know the fantastic talent right here in EPIC. Spotlight on Students will introduce you to undergraduate and graduate students and will share stories of their pursuit of a degree with an energy focus.
Shelby Tomassi
Graduating in May 2019, with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics

Orlando, FL and Waynesville, NC

Looking ahead
In 10 years, she hopes to be out west or overseas, researching and working with different types of renewable energy sources to help countries have more reliable power.
Shelby grew up in a house of engineers, both of her parents are Electrical Engineers and a brother is studying Mechanical Engineering at MIT. The engineering bug bit Shelby early in life, she remembers loving hearing her parent's stories from work they were doing at Lockheed Martin and was thrilled any time she was allowed to go to work with them. She also enjoyed helping with DIY projects around the house, especially when soldering was involved! In the Summer of 2017, Shelby was hired by sensemetrics, a California start-up, this was her first real-world experience as an Electrical Engineer and it was then that she began to truly find out that she was on the right career path. She also found out that she loved the west coast!
Choosing UNC Charlotte to pursue her degree came easily to Shelby. While on a tour of the school during Engineering Day, she fell in love with the beauty and the environment of the campus and she and her parents were blown away as they walked through EPIC. After a tour of a few of the dorms, she knew UNC Charlotte was the place for her! The school was also far enough from home to gain her independence, but close enough if she needed time with her parents and her goat.

When Shelby discovered that the college offered an energy-focused curriculum that covered the skills the energy industry encourages students learn before entering the energy-related workforce, she saw this as a great fit for her passion for renewable energy and the improvement of renewable energy products and services.
Shelby has found multiple ways to become involved in campus life. She has volunteered to be a student ambassador at Career Fairs and on student tours; is the founder and president of Independent Greek Council; and is a member in the Alpha Omega Epsilon STEM Sorority. An active athlete, Shelby has volunteered at the 49er 5k Race and is a member of the Snowboard Club. She also is a study group coordinator and a member of IEEE and SWE.
Shelby is currently the Project Lead on a Senior Design project that is studying the placement of meters for Duke Energy. The idea is to analyze the current strategy of meter placement and determine if there is a way to improve the process in a way that benefits both consumers and Duke Energy. This is allowing Shelby to get first-hand experience with the power grid.

Her energy-focused degree work has also opened the door to other fantastic opportunities. They include an engineering internship with a top east coast energy company, participation on an Agile team assignment within Duke Energy, and being selected to be the student voice of Duke Energy at a national energy conference.
With her graduation quickly approaching, Shelby has advice for those beginning their educational journey in engineering, "Don't give up. This major can be incredibly difficult and at some points can feel extremely overwhelming. Surround yourself with good people who want to succeed, go to your classes, get involved, and find out from faculty/students/alumni what the best path is for success in the energy field." She also believes having a strong sense of purpose and being able to bounce back after setbacks will help a student accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Shelby knows this firsthand after dealing with countless health problems, including heart surgery, while in college. There were moments where she wanted to withdraw from everything and take a semester off, but she always persevered. But knowing that engineering was the best fit for her interests and with the help of many fellow engineering students, she was able to navigate through the difficult times. "We help each other so that we can all succeed", said Shelby.

Shelby added, "Success always begins in knowing you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. If I could do it all over again I would not do anything differently. This does not mean I didn't make mistakes, but they were always learning experiences and an opportunity to grow."