Trudy Curley

Trudy Curley

Mechanical Engineer


Tempe, AZ USA

There are times when I design or build something and it doesn’t work. But don’t ever be afraid to take the initiative and take the lead.


By Roadtrip Nation

Trudy Curley

Now Playing
Trudy Curley HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
The Importance Of Giving Back To Your CommunityWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
Advice For Students Interested In Mechanical EngineeringWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
Being Innovative In Engineering Can Be StressfulInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
Being A Minority In The Mechanical Engineering FieldInterview Excerpt


My road in life has been direct.
Growing up, my family had a very “fix-it-yourself” mindset—we would never call a plumber or electrician; we would figure out a way to fix it ourselves—so I spent a lot of time building things.
I developed an early interest in math and science which, combined with my knack for building things, led me to pursue engineering in high school.
I earned a full-ride scholarship to college as a Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar for my work promoting community-based programs to empower the underserved.
Attended The University of Kansas, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
While in college, I became the president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), which seeks to increase American Indian representation in STEM fields.
As a sophomore, I interned at Hallmark Cards in process improvement and supply chain business enablement, which really helped me understand how engineering aligns theory and real-world problems.
I also interned at The Boeing Company working in commercial aircraft and military testing, which led to my first job out of college working as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry.
I now work as a mechanical engineer for Axon, working on weapons and TASER self-defense devices.
Keep following my journey


High School
Mechanical Engineering
University of Kansas


Mechanical Engineer

I design fixtures and processes to build products and ensure they are built appropriately.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Building Things

Day to Day

On a daily basis, I multi-task a lot. I will design and build fixtures for new product integration, assist technicians on the manufacturing floor if a process has issues, and develop standards for product data management.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You have to have knowledge of software specific programs, know how to communicate effectively with non-engineers, multi-tasking, documenting and organizing your work, learn how to work in a team environment and take the lead when needed.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Do not be shy nor intimidated by what you want to study; believe in yourself and surround yourself with other like-minded individuals. Take as much math and science classes early on as you can. Start interning in the field you are interested in early in college. Don't wait until you graduate.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Mechanical Engineering


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You're a woman and a minority, there is no place for you here."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
Gender and Racial Discrimination

Interviewed By

Future West

Future West

Arizona Innovation Roadtrip