Making the Connection

MARIETTA, Ga. | May 14, 2019

Engineering graduate to bring research experience to automotive giant

Danica Roberts’ college major was decided, in part, by a simple Google search.

“I knew that I really liked calculus, and I decided to plug that into a search to see what careers would make for a good fit,” she said, eventually landing on the field of electrical engineering.

After graduating from Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, Ga., and with her eyes now set on a career path, she began her studies in Kennesaw State University’s Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. Now she has earned a degree in electrical engineering and will begin work as a telematics engineer for Daimler Trucks North America in Portland, Ore.

Danica Roberts

Since arriving at Kennesaw State, Roberts said she became interested in researching how vehicles will communicate with each other in the future. In December, she received a competitive National Science Foundation Travel Grant which allowed her to travel to Taipei, Taiwan for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Vehicular Networking Conference. At the event, Roberts was able to interact with industry experts and world-leading scholars in the vehicular networking and communication community. She completed a literature review following the trip and last month presented her research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research hosted at KSU.

To further explore the topic, she also took part in a directed research study under Kevin McFall, chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Mechatronics Engineering and resident autonomous vehicle expert. She previously conducted research alongside Sandip Das, assistant professor of electrical engineering, exploring the various characteristics of solar cells.

“I think research has taught me tenacity,” Roberts said. “It just feels like everything I’ve been learning in my classes and even outside of the classroom is all coming together now. This has shaped me into the person that I am, and that’s something I’ve never really felt before.”

In addition to research, Roberts said she wanted to capitalize on her interests while in college. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has held leadership roles in the KSU section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Council of Negro Women and the Student Government Association. She interviewed with Daimler while attending a national SWE conference and was offered a job on the spot.

“I still can’t believe it, to be honest,” said Roberts, whose job will involve finetuning wireless connectivity and Bluetooth capability vehicles.

Her continued success comes as no surprise to those who know her, said Lance Crimm, chair of KSU’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

“She continues to make us ever so proud with her many accolades and accomplishments, including research presentations and publications at nationally recognized professional engineering conferences,” he said. “Danica is the type of student we all are consistently hoping to meet, and we can certainly predict that she will continue to inspire as she serves as a wonderful electrical engineer.”

– Travis Highfield

Photos by David Caselli

Related Stories

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit