Sarah Hiple

Franklin, TN, US
Field of Work 
Nissan North America, Inc.
Job Title or "Student" 
Manager, Product Safety
Purdue University
B.S. Mechanical Engineering; M.A. Science, Technology & Public Policy
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
When I was younger, I wasn't really sure that I wanted a career in engineering. After all, my dad was an engineer and to me (probably like all kids) his job seemed awfully boring. I really had a hard time picking a college major because I enjoyed a wide variety of subjects - including English and History as well as Math and Science - so I definitely wasn't fitting the stereotype of an engineering student. However, I really enjoyed problem solving and was excited about the wide variety of careers and industries open to engineers.

I majored in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. It certainly wasn't an easy path. The classes were difficult and professors had high expectations, but I loved the challenge and formed strong bonds with my classmates and professors. To this day I am still extremely close with some of my "engineering friends" from college. And I still had time to enjoy college life - I was able to run track & field and cross country for the Purdue team, and volunteer in other student organizations. Getting an engineering degree taught me much more than just the principles of physics. It taught me how to problem solve, how to work effectively in a team, how to manage my time efficiently, and how to ask for help when I needed it.

My first job out of college was as a test engineer at the GM Proving Grounds, evaluating brake and chassis systems on full-size trucks. It was a great job, but I also realized that I wanted to follow a more non-traditional engineering career path. I was fascinated by the role that science and technology were playing in key public debates, on topics ranging from environmental issues, to defense technologies, to medical/health research. So I eventually went back to school and got a masters degree in "Science, Technology, and Public Policy". I wanted the opportunity to be a part of the debate - and hopefully part of the solution - for these key issues facing my generation and my country.

I joined Nissan about 8 years ago, starting in their Government Affairs office in Washington, DC and ultimately moved to the corporate headquarters in Nashville, TN. During my time with Nissan, I have worked on wide variety of projects and issues, focusing on vehicle safety and the environment. Many of these projects have focused on the intersection of technology and policy - from regulatory compliance, to government legislation, to cooperative research.

During my free time, I love to travel to new places (I recently hiked in the Grand Canyon!) and am trying to improve my photography skills. I recently completed my first triathlon and an 80 mile bike ride through the mountains of Colorado. Living in Nashville has also prompted me to learn to play the guitar - lots of fun, but I won't be playing any gigs anytime soon!
Working outdoors, Reading, Travel, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Job shadow, Online role model
My Experience 
I am a new Role Model.
No Preference
Career exploration activities
Program Affiliation 

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