Hello there! My name is Rosie the Repair Bear. I’m a sophomore at Panda State University with a major in mechanical engineering.
My interest in engineering started when I was just a cub. I loved playing with Hot Wheels and building complex tracks to see how fast the cars could go. In Cub Scouts, we visited the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. They had a contest where kids could build vehicles out of chocolate, and I was awarded first place. From then on, I built little cars out of scraps I found around the house—cardboard, toothpicks, bottlecaps—and eventually, I began building soapbox cars. This obsession kept growing until I was finally able to build my first real car.
In high school, I took auto shop and rebuilt a 1959 T-Bird, which belonged to my mom. It was the first car she ever owned, but sadly it had been parked in our garage for years and was in need of some serious repairs. So, I made a deal with my parents—if I could repair the car and get it to run, I could keep it.
Photo credit: Andrew Goldheart
I had to do a complete line replacement, including hoses and break lines—plastic and rubber don’t survive the decades. The process was lots of guess and check, but I learned a lot about engine repair. Along the way, I recruited the help of my local car mechanic to help me rebore the engine and rebuild the transmission. I leaned heavily on my auto shop teacher and online forums to learn the ins-and-outs of working on older cars. It took all four years of high school to get the car up and running, but I was able to drive it to graduation!
Through the process of rebuilding the T-bird, and working on my friends’ cars, I found my passion for tinkering on engines. While I love the purr of an engine, it’s not hard to see how cars are having a negative impact on the environment. After I graduate, I hope to use my degree to work in the auto industry and help design the cleaner cars of tomorrow with the classic touches of yesterday. My goal is to optimize the design of eco-friendly cars with energy efficiency and affordability in mind.
In the meantime, I’m excited to create iFixit guides for my Specialized StumpJumper bicycle. I’ve done basic bike maintenance, but I’ve never actually replaced any parts. As a mechanical engineer, I’m interested in taking my bike apart to understand its core components and how they all work together. It will be fascinating to compare the simplicity of bicycle mechanics to automobiles—which are far more complex—but accomplish the same purpose of transportation. I hope my guides will help users keep their bikes on the trail and out of the landfill.
- Advanced mathematics (calculus, differential equations)
- Welding (MIG, SMAW, and oxy-acetylene)
- American Sign Language
- Strong written and verbal communication
- Active listener and persuasive negotiator
- I rebuilt a 1959 T-Bird.
- In my high school Robotics club, I built a gardening robot that can water plants. I constructed the robot using CAD models. The robot’s operating system runs from a Raspberry Pi, and I can control the robot using Arduino and C++.
- I was awarded first chair viola in the PSU Orchestra during my freshman year.
- I volunteer in the welding department of my local maker space. In the downtime during my shifts, I’m currently making a tree stand to hang my jewelry.
- Car repairs:
- Oil change
- Spark plugs
- Brake pads and rotors
- Line replacement
- Engine rebuild
- Clutch replacement
- Other repairs:
- National Honor Society (2017-2018)
- Superior Rating at Solo and Ensemble (2018)
- Society of Women Engineers scholarship winner (2018)
- Panda Pride scholarship winner (2018)
- ASME Foundation (2018-present)
- Engineers for a Sustainable World (2018-present)
- Society of Women Engineers (2018-present)
- PSU Orchestra (2019-present)
- Playing viola
- Climbing trees
- Playing Chess
Fun fact about me: I love bamboo—I can literally eat it for every meal!