Amy Kukulya

Current Position: Senior Robotics Engineering Tech at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Amy Kukulya
Highlight Believe in yourself and realize you are capable of doing anything and everything that you put your mind and spirit into. Also, have fun along the way!
September 9, 2007Her job: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Describe what you do in your current work situation? I equip underwater robots (called AUVs—autonomous underwater vehicles) so that cameras and sound detectors can be attached. The robots can then take pictures and gather information about the ocean. I am also developing an underwater garage where the robots can park for long periods of time, recharge, and download data.
Why did you choose engineering? I always loved the ocean, and I thought I would become a marine biologist. While working at Woods Hole, I learned that I could combine biology and engineering, thereby creating the perfect job. I realized engineering offers me more opportunities than biology does.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have? B.S. in environmental policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. I received my engineering training at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of? The technological advances that are taking place in my lab will not only help us understand the mysteries of our oceans but will allow us to understand our planet better. These underwater vehicles are expanding our knowledge of hot topics like global warming and climate change.
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices? My grandparents exposed me to fishing, clamming, crabbing, boating, and a life on the water. Through these experiences, I learned to be curious and self-sufficient.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering? Believe in yourself and realize you are capable of doing anything and everything that you put your mind and spirit into. Also, have fun along the way!
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book. Surfing, SCUBA diving, fishing, shucking oysters, and hunting lobsters. I love skiing, winter camping, and traveling, too.