Sophie Bowe: Engineering undergrad and future ‘imagineer’

The senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science took a natural curiosity in the mechanics of a Disney ride as a child to and carries it into her work as a lab and teaching assistant in mechanical design.

It was an epiphany experienced while riding on Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest that granted Sophie Bowe her entrance into the world of engineering. A true believer in the pure magic of Disney theme park attractions, Bowe’s “Aha!” moment revealed to her the unseen technological and mechanical underpinnings of the ride. Like so many other engineers-to-be, the 10-year-old Bowe wondered, “Wait. How does this all actually work?” Her father, a mechanical engineer sitting beside her at the time, clearly remembers the moment, and was not at all surprised by the many questions that followed. Her journey of discovery had begun.

Sophie Bowe standing in front of a hand-drawn map of Penn with time stamps showing where she visits throughout the day.
A day in the life of engineering undergrad Sophie Bowe takes her all around Penn’s campus. (Image: Penn Engineering Today)

As a senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a resident assistant at Lauder College House, Bowe organizes urban excursions designed to orient and amuse incoming Penn students. Bowe’s love of making things found full expression in MEAM 101, Introduction to Mechanical Design, and her longtime dream of becoming an “Imagineer” came into even sharper focus. Now a teaching assistant for that very course and a machining laboratory assistant in the Precision Machining Laboratory, Bowe is, quite literally, honing her own skills while helping others.

Senior Lecturer Dustyn Roberts, who teaches MEAM 101, describes Bowe as “a natural leader among her peers,” and expressed what might be the ultimate vote of confidence in her abilities: Roberts would “ride on anything she designs as an Imagineer, for sure!”

Read more at Penn Engineering Today.