Why UNH? Natalie’s Reason: Hands-on Learning
Each UNH student arrives on our campus for different reasons. Many journeys lead to our shared destination of becoming a UNH Wildcat. Follow along as we begin a Reasons to Choose blog series that highlights why students choose UNH for their big college decisions.
Natalie, an ocean engineering student, chose UNH because of the hands-on learning experiences she thrives on and the ability to further her education with an accelerated master's. Hear from Natalie exactly why she chose UNH:
Natalie Cook ‘23
Ocean Engineering major
Why did I choose UNH? I’ve always valued hands-on learning experiences and I knew that I wanted to go to a university that could offer me that.
For me, there was (and still is!) nothing scarier than thinking of years of school or work just sitting behind a desk with some papers and a screen to stare at for hours.
When I began to look at engineering opportunities at different universities, I immediately gravitated towards UNH.
UNH offers state-of-the-art research and laboratory spaces that are instrumental to students’ learning. As an ocean engineering major, I’ve spent countless hours in the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory working on various labs, projects, coursework and more.
The Chase high bay includes a 20-foot-deep engineering tank to test equipment as well as a 120-foot-long wave tank that can be used to test everything from tidal turbines to current measuring devices. Being able to work with these facilities as an undergrad has been significant in enriching my educational experience with real-world and hands-on experience.
In addition to labs in the advanced learning spaces, I’ve also taken part in labs and coursework off campus at UNH’s Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex in New Castle, NH as well as on campus at the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center.
I’ve deployed ocean instrumentation at sea to measure tides in the Great Bay, taken part in internship programs through UNH that have sent me around the country and even gotten SCUBA certified through one of the courses the school offers.
The diversity of experiences I have had here is so unique and every one of them has shaped who I am and what I want to do with my career.
While these experiences have been some of the best parts of my degree, it's truly the people at UNH that have made my years here so impactful.
I’ve been privileged to have several outstanding faculty members as instructors that have devoted so much of their time and passion to teaching students.
From dedicating time outside of class to assisting students with tricky concepts, to flexible deadlines to accommodate students’ needs, the faculty at UNH, particularly in the ocean engineering department, has gone above and beyond to ensure students not only grasp the material being taught, but are able to apply it in a multitude of settings.
As my last year as an undergraduate nears an end at UNH, I know that my education here will not. Currently I am in UNH’s accelerated master’s program and on track to continue my learning with a Master’s in Ocean Engineering after my graduation.
This program has allowed me to take several of my courses a step higher to the graduate level and thus receive credit as a grad student. This accelerated program has been an amazing opportunity to allow me to get ahead in my education and take advantage of another one of the wonderful programs UNH offers during my time here.
Looking back fondly at my time at UNH, I am so thankful for all the opportunities the university gave me to further my learning and am incredibly proud of what I have accomplished in my time here. The past several years have been fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Learn more about ocean engineering at UNH:
- Explore the Chase Ocean Engineering Lab in 360 degrees
- Register for Ocean Engineering Day to explore the program, facilities and people
- Discover the program website
- Watch a short video of UNH ocean engineering students' lab in the Great Bay
Ever wondered what college life is like? Here’s a window into a day in the life of a UNH student! From grabbing breakfast, to going to class, to hanging out with friends, meet Igor Garcia ‘23, a Communication major and Cinema Studies minor. read more
There are so many reasons students interested in studying and protecting the ocean make their way to UNH – from our coastal location to our only-at-UNH research opportunities. Kelsea Carmichael ‘25 talks about why ocean engineering is the perfect major for her. read more