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Olivia Lazar

  • Major: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
  • Hometown: Maryville, Tennessee
  • Graduation Year: 2023
  • E-mail:

Ambassador Profile

Hey future engineering Vols!

My name is Liv Lazar and I am a 4th year in Chemical Engineering, with minors in Reliability and Maintainability as well as Leadership Studies. I grew up right across the water in Maryville, Tennessee, and grew up a lifelong Vols fan (and Pittsburgh fan, what can I say, go Pens!). I was not sure at all I wanted to go to UTK, as my older sister was currently attending and my dad graduated from Tennessee way back when. Ultimately, I fell in love with the engineering campus and the phenomenal honors programs here, and I will forever be shouting Rocky Top with all my heart!

It always makes me laugh to say that I was mildly Pavlov'ed into engineering due to every single time I said something related to what I wanted to do in my future (firefighter, writer, florist, singer, etc), my dad would say, "You should be an engineer". By the time I was in high school, I really wanted to be an engineer (good job dad, you did it) and in my junior year of high school I was accepted into the Tennessee Governor's School for Engineering at the University of Tennessee. For a month in the summer, I came to UTK and learned about basic engineering principles, how everything in the Innovation and Collaboration Studio worked, and explored Knoxville and campus. I got first-hand experience of what taking engineering classes at UTK would be like and had the chance to speak to current professors in many different departments. This was when I cemented that I wanted to be an engineer, and when I got back to high school and adored my chemistry classes, I knew I had found my golden place in chemical engineering.

Since coming to campus, I have found my place in many other areas besides engineering. I am in the Honors Leadership Program (HLP), Cook Grand Challenge Engineering Honors Program, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Honors Program. These are all tremendous, and have given me so many opportunities and incited so many great challenges, but my biggest love for UTK comes in my other organizations. This year, I am the President of the Organization Resource Group, an active member and mentor for the Society of Women Engineers, and an active member for both the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and UKirk, the Presbyterian Ministry on campus. My organizations and the friends I have made through them have given me peace of mind when I feel overwhelmed, and I encourage every student to find those places!

The most impactful experience I have had during my college years is the co-op I completed throughout my junior year. During the summer and fall of 2020 as well as the summer of 2021, I worked at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee (DMTN) as a Production Engineer in the Body Electronics Final Assembly Department. My main areas within the plant were production for key fobs and gate drive control boards for electric vehicle inverters. I had the privilege of working on three large projects, one of which that is currently being implemented across all manufacturing locations in North America, and working on daily duties of a production engineer. I will enthusiastically recommend a co-op or internship to any student I talk to because it was an invaluable experience! I would love to answer any questions you have about co-ops and internships and the process in general!

Choosing a college and figuring out how to be an adult at a large campus like UTK is a hard process, yet it is so rewarding and gratifying. The level of support and opportunity at UTK, specifically within the Tickle College of Engineering, can help you overcome any fear you have, and it all starts here! If you have questions, if you have so many thoughts you cannot think straight, if you just want to let me know you are excited to join the Vol family, I would love to talk to you! GO BIG ORANGE!

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