Addison Johnson

Addison Johnson is working on her computer

Curious what college looks like as a student athlete? Addison Johnson, a junior mechanical engineering major and member of Tennessee Tech University’s women’s soccer team, is the perfect example.

“Being a student athlete and an engineer can be a lot, but I really enjoy it,” she said. “I couldn’t image my college experience any other way.”

Johnson enjoys being a mechanical engineering major because it’s broad enough that she gets to meet people with different future aspirations.

“It’s so broad that you can do anything with it,” she explained. “I know people that are going to work on cars, and I want to work on HVAC systems.”

She explains in more detail what HVAC entails.

“HVAC design is heating, cooling and refrigerant of buildings, so a lot of what I would do in my internships was load calculation,” Johnson said.

Her current interest in HVAC comes from a previous internship, but she’s open to other future opportunities as well.

“The plan right now is to do that, but this summer I have an internship in construction management,” she revealed. “I do that so I can see the install side and how all those systems actually work.”

As impactful as her hands on experience has been, she credits Hiyam Farhat, lecturer at Tech, to have been very influential in her academic experience as a woman in the engineering field.

“It’s really cool to see another woman teaching us about this stuff that normally is a very male-dominated field,” Johnson appreciated.

Addison Johnson on Tech's soccer field in front of the goal holding a soccer ball in one hand and her computer in the other

Johnson prioritizes maintaining her academics, athletics and social commitments. Along with being a student athlete, she is the Vice Chair of American Society for Mechanical Engineers, a leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a Student Ambassador for the College of Engineering.

“I love that we do a lot of outreach with local schools,” Johnson said. “We’ll go and do STEM Club and introduce these kids to engineering.”

Reflecting on all of her involvements, she chose Tennessee Tech because it fit all of her interests.

“Tech just really had all the pieces for me of being able to play soccer, study engineering, being close to home, and the good [campus] size,” Johnson acknowledged.

She offers some reassurance to students that may be struggling in their college career.

“Something I know now that I would tell my freshman self is that it’s going to be okay,” she affirmed. “It’s all going to work out.”

Johnson leaves mechanical engineers with one last piece of advice.

“I think my biggest advice would be to try to get an internship or a co-op,” she said. “I think that’s the best way to figure out that this is what I want to do and kind of experiment with different fields.”

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