Morgan Thomas & GRiP Lab: Finding Time to Help

Morgan Thomas, a junior pursuing her electrical engineering degree, is pretty busy.

Somehow, in the midst of her rigorous EE coursework, she finds the time to serve as the electrical design lead for Generational Relief in Prosthetics (GRiP), a student group which provides custom-designed video game controllers to people with limb differences. She also leads GRiP’s single-handed game controller club and helps to facilitate their soldering workshops. When GRiP provides 3D-printed prosthetics and devices to Hand Camp Morgan is there. How does she find the time?

As she says, “It’s not so much making time for it, it’s the thing I want to work on in my free time.” She’s a great example of the New Engineer—combining natural leadership with engineering to impact the world around her. Her work with GRiP is certainly technically challenging, but it’s also fulfilling on a personal level. As she says,

“You get to enjoy the engineering aspect,  but in the end, it goes to a good cause, like, you’re working towards something.”

The video profile above highlights Morgan’s somewhat circuitous path into the electrical engineering major. Her father thought she’d be a doctor (spoiler alert: not going to happen) and when she first came to UF, she began pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering. But after getting involved with the GRiP lab, she found herself fascinated by the soldering, electronics, and design involved in building the controllers, and switched to an EE major.

As far as the future goes, Morgan is enjoying her studies and can easily see herself continuing with the kind of work that she does with GRiP, or continuing with the kind of work she’s doing in the Lightning Lab. But after she toured a power generation plant (Deerhaven), she notes how exciting it was to see the huge machinery and the different elements in creating electricity in an industrial setting. As she says, “I find it very difficult to focus on just one future that I want.”

Right on.

Our Town Magazine recently published a profile on the GRiP lab, and you can read it in its entirety here.

Be sure to visit GRiP on Facebook.

As the lab is a charity, you may donate to the lab directly by using this link.