Polina Brodsky: Women in Technology @ OSU

Polina Brodsky is the energy storage lead for Ohio State’s student motorcycle team, Buckeye Current(link is external). We had a chance to talk to Brodsky about what got her into engineering and advice she may have for other young women looking to take the same path.

Can you describe what you do for the team?

I am the team’s energy storage lead. I work on designing and building the team’s battery pack, which stores the bike’s energy and provides DC current to the rest of the components in vehicle’s powertrain.

What prompted you to join the team?

I actually joined Buckeye Current back in high school. The summer after my junior  year, I was looking for something to do so I emailed OSU’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR)(link is external) and asked them if they had any positions open to high school students. I was placed on Buckeye Current and have been on the team ever since.

What advice can you give young women who would like to work on a tech project?

I would say to go for it! It can sometimes be really intimidating to start working on a tech project, but it’s important to understand that no one knows what they’re doing starting out and that the best way to learn something is to just to do it.  The best and most rewarding learning experiences come from working through a problem that seems unsolvable and impossible.

How do you stay up-to-date with the new trends in technology in you field?

I read a lot of articles about what’s going on in electric vehicles and electric vehicle racing. I also know many of the engineers working for other electric motorcycle race teams, so I like to chat with them occasionally to hear how their projects are going and what their teams are up to.

Is there any technology that you are particularly excited about right now? Why?

I’m pretty excited about all of the recent breakthroughs in battery technology. Even though lithium-ion is a promising battery technology, it’s great to new experimental components like solid electrolytes and metal-air batteries that are pushing battery technology even further. 

What has been your favorite moment/experience from working with Buckeye Current?

Some of my favorite experiences have been racing with Buckeye Current. There’s nothing more rewarding and fun than being in the pit crew during race events. Seeing a bike that you poured your time and energy into lined up at the starting line is nerve-wrecking, exciting, and gratifying, and standing there next to the vehicle right before it takes off is my favorite moment of each race season.

What has been the hardest part of working on Buckeye Current?

The hardest part about being on the team is the amount of time it takes up sometimes. It’s really easy to get stressed out about the amount of work and time that goes into making the bike each year!

This feature blog post is part of our #OSUWomenInTech campaign. Hear more stories from female leaders involved in technology at Ohio State by following us on Twitter @TechHubOSU(link is external) and stopping in store to see our digital signage features. Are you interested in getting involved with technology? Don’t forget to check out our Student Developer Kit(link is external) and student project development grant opportunities.