Engineers and Olympians
Three Michigan engineers are headed to glory at the 2012 Olympic Games. They include two alumni and one current student. #MGoLondon
(Photo by Tom Needle/Michigan Daily)
Degree: Sophomore, Mechanical Engineering
Event: Men’s Swimming, 1500m freestyle
Representing: United States
Dates: Heats, Aug. 3; Finals, Aug. 4
Qualifying: Finished second in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials with the fifth-fastest time in the world (14:52.51)
Jaeger is a two-time letterwinner and placed third in the mile at the NCAA Championships in 2012. He is the only current Wolverine swimmer on the U.S. team headed to the Olympics, and before qualifying he had only swam the 1500m “a handful of times.”
He is studying Mechanical Engineering, and has done undergraduate research work with Professor Albert Shih. He is also involved with a volunteer program that brings student athletes to visit patients at Mott Children’s Hospital. He loves Michigan Engineering, and says that U-M has a great support staff for its athletes.
“Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself,” Jaeger advises other students. “Michigan is a great school and, as hard as you work, it will all be worth it.
Nicole (Edwards) Sifuentes
Degree: Civil Engineering, 2009
Event: Women’s Track & Field, 1500m
Dates: Qualifying, Aug. 6 & 8; Finals, Aug. 10
Qualifying: Finished third in the Canadian Track and Field Trials, but has a top speed of 4:4.76
Raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Sifuentes was a 12-time All-American at Michigan and won the National Championship in the distance medley relay with at the U-M. She also placed fifth in the women’s 1500m in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
She graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and worked as a part-time engineering consultant since graduation. However, she recently stopped working to focus on her running. “It was a really hard decision, because my job was so interesting” said Sifuentes. “But I know I wouldn’t be where I am now – headed to the Olympics – if I hadn’t made that hard choice.”
Sifuentes may not have the fastest time of the competitors headed to London, but she believes in herself. She says one of her strengths is race strategy – timing when to sprint and when to pace yourself – and that is key in this competition. “Anyone will tell you that anything can happen at a championship meet, so you never know!”
Degree: Industrial and Operations Engineering, 2010
Event: Paralympics Athletics, 100m (T44) and 200m (T46)
Representing: United States
100m, Sept. 6; 200m, Sept. 2
Qualifying: Finished third in the US Paralympic Championship Trials (22.8)
Born without a fibula in his right leg, Singleton was only 18 months old when doctors amputated his leg below the knee. But that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a world class athlete, winning in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and earning three college degrees before his 26th birthday.
Singleton earned a double-degree in Mathematics and Applied Physics at Morehouse College, and transferred to the U-M where he added an Industrial Engineering degree to the list. While at the U-M, he interned at NASA and CERN – and also took the gold medal in the Relay 4x100m and silver in the 100m in 2008. Singleton’s 2012 race is one of the most hotly anticipated at the London Paralympics, as he matches up with reigning champion Oscar Pistorius (RSA) and new world-record runner Jonnie Peacock (BGR) in the 100m event.
His passion and dedication is evident in his discussions with the media and with his fans online. “If you are going to pursue any career, no matter what it is, you should have the desire to be the best,” Singleton said.
Posted by Jennifer Judge Hensel, Michigan Engineering