Marley Downes

Student working in lab
Marley Downes

Hometown: Townson, Maryland
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Class Year: 2024

What made you realize you were interested in engineering?

When I was deciding my major, I had a hard time choosing between the sciences and engineering. I wanted to study the fundamentals, but be able to apply my learning outside of a lab. I landed on Materials Science and Engineering because it's a perfect intersection of what I wanted to do!

When you were looking at colleges, what stood out about Drexel?

Honestly, the co-op program. It offers so much more than a regular internship and offered more opportunity than I would get at a different school.

What has been you best co-op experience so far?

My first co-op was a continuation of my STAR project at the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute and was an amazing experience. I truly developed my skills as a scientist and ran my own project, which has become the backbone of what I am doing for my BS/MS thesis.

What has been your favorite class so far?

Any of Dr. Weyant's classes! His class series focus on the stress/strain behavior of materials and are so applicable to every aspect of my studies.

What about your major is special to you?

The versatility of MSE really makes it special. I can work on any project I want because it will, in some way, pertain to materials. I have chosen to focus in Nanomaterials, so I like to call myself an atomic engineer!

What extracurricular activities are important to you and why? 

Engineers Without Borders and rock climbing. I had not done either before Drexel, and together they have really shaped my Drexel experience and pushed me to experience new things.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who's thinking about declaring a major right now?

Talk to other students in that major before making your choice. I came to Drexel as a chemical engineering student but after talking to other chemical and materials students, I made the switch, and I am glad I did! Consider how your major will play into your life as a whole. Not just what you want to learn, but what you want to do with your life.

More Student Stories

Meet these and other Drexel Engineering students.