Student Spotlight: Alexandra Barbato

By Kat Billo ’25

Tell us a little about yourself.
“My name is Alex Barbato and I am from Utica, NY. I am a senior Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) major.”

Why Engineering?
“I chose engineering because I can’t handle blood, but I love math and science. I am naturally “systems” minded and am constantly looking for the most efficient way to do things so that is why I chose ISE.” 

What are some of your favorite inventions and inventors?
“All Apple products specifically Airpods, the Apple TV and Apple Carplay, so I love Steve Jobs.”

What do you do for fun?
“For fun I love to shop online and cook new recipes.” 

What is the sense of community like at URI?
“My sense of community is at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). I have been a part of SWE since my freshman year and I am the current president. The organization has provided me with a tremendous amount of knowledge on professional development and allowed me to connect with a great group of people. It gave me a sense of support in such a male dominated industry.”

What is your experience with internships?
“During the summer of 2022 I worked as a manufacturing engineering intern at Conmed Corporation in Utica NY. Conmed is a medical manufacturing company and I was able to work on line development for both new and existing products.”  

Hands on…what do you do? Capstone? 
“Throughout my time at URI I found a passion for sustainability in manufacturing. That is why I accepted a role as a manufacturing engineer at Plug Power, a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing company. My capstone project is in collaboration with Hayward Industries in North Kingstown. I am working on a dynamic dashboard that will act as a andon light on their manufacturing floor. 

Best memory at URI Engineering?
“My favorite memory of URI Engineering was the recent Raytheon Event. It was not only a great opportunity to network but it also reassured students that the college truly wants us to be successful.”

What are things URI Engineering has that other engineering schools don’t?
“Support. There have been many times where I have reached out to a professor or advisor in a frenzy and they make time for me right away to try and help. They took the time to guide me through my issues and express that they truly care about me and my success.”

What do you think of Kingston?
“Kingston is a lot different from my hometown. It is much smaller but I do like it and see myself visiting once I graduate.” 

What is the #1 reason someone should do engineering here
“The #1 reason someone should do engineering at URI is because of the overwhelming support. I am very lucky to be close with all of my professors as well as the advisors and deans within the college of engineering. President Parlange even took the time to come to one of our SWE meetings to get to know our organization. Every staff member and fellow student wants you to succeed and are more than willing to find the time to help you and I think that is extremely important especially with such a tough major like engineering.” 

What’s a random fact about you?
Random fact about me is that I played the violin for 9 years.