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Amy Claypool

Alumna
BSEE '02
Tactical/Performance Physical Therapist
U.S. Army

Earning my BSEE is not only one of my proudest accomplishments, but also has set me up for opportunities beyond what I could've ever imagined. I would not be where I am today without Purdue and ECE. 

Why did you choose to study electrical and computer engineering?

I loved math and science for as long as I can remember. It also helped that my dad was an electrician. For my science fair project in the 2nd grade, he taught me what series and parallel circuits were, and how to put them together using a battery, lamps, and wires with alligator clips on the end. The judges didn't quite believe that I really understood, so I completely disassembled my circuits and rebuild them on demand to illustrate the difference between them. I was in love with problem solving ever since!   

Favorite Purdue ECE class or experience:

My favorite class was Signals and Systems, but my favorite experience was EPICS. It was an invaluable experience, learning project management, design, budgeting, scheduling, etc, and once we had a solid idea, were given free rein to execute and build. My team had so much fun together!

What organizations or activities were you involved in at Purdue? What did you gain from that involvement?

I was a member of the Purdue Women's Rugby Club. Some of my best memories come from that experience. Being involved with the team have me a chance to take a break from academic stresses, get outside, exercise and socialize with people outside my major.  

What are you doing currently?

After graduation, I worked for the U.S. Air Force as a developmental engineer. After 6 years, I decided to change careers to become a physical therapist, or as I like to think of it, an engineer for the human body, and earned my doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University in 2013.

I am currently a Tactical/Performance Physical Therapist for the U.S. Army. There, I am attached to a unit where I rehab injuries, and work with on a human performance team to analyze movements and strength to optimize service member's performance and decrease injury risk.

What are your ultimate career goals?

I would like to open a sports physical therapy private practice where I help athletes of all abilities and ages attain their goals through injury rehabilitation and sports performance.

How is your Purdue degree helping you achieve your goals?

The biggest lessons I learned weren't from a specific lecture or course. Purdue taught me the most valuable life lesson in the process of working toward an engineering degree, including how to analyze and solve any problem, how to manage my time, hard work, discipline, self-motivation, that there are always people there willing to help you if you ask, and finally, that all things are possible. Learning those first two, problem solving and time management, have been crucial to where I am today.

 What advice do you have for current ECE students?

When I was a student, and I'm sure the same is true today, the experience is one of being hardened in the fire. It's extremely challenging, but well worth it! Earning my BSEE is not only one of my proudest accomplishments, but also has set me up for opportunities beyond what I could've ever imagined. I would not be where I am today without Purdue and ECE.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my husband, family, friends, and 2 dogs, especially any activity outdoors. I also enjoy running, biking and have completed several marathons and my first half ironman triathlon a year ago.


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