Renner is part of GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program. Fresh out of Cornell with a master of engineering degree in systems engineering, she currently works in the Capital Region at GE’s massive research center in Niskayuna.
“It’s a rotational program for people who have just finished their masters. I’m on my second rotation. I did my first year in the thermo sciences group, and now I’m doing my second rotation in the controls and optimization group. I work on model-based systems engineering and wind turbine controls,” Renner said.
One of Renner’s classmates—Chris Wright, a fellow engineer from Cornell—introduced her to domino building. “He’s been a domino builder since he was in middle school,” Renner said. “He’s really talented. He builds incredible 3D structures.”
Last May, Renner, Wright, and Ben Tardif—known as “Brains and Brawn”—were one of 16 teams to compete on Fox’s Domino Masters. Filmed in Los Angeles and hosted by Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, the show proved to be an experience both exciting and nerve-wracking.
“You have 16 hours to build. That’s a really long time and a really short amount of time,” Renner said. “Essentially, every second you’re focused putting down a domino. But at the same time, that clock goes down fast.”
She immediately put her skill set to work to help the team work as efficiently as possible within the allotted time. “I’m a systems engineer,” she said. “The minute they were like, ‘Here’s your requirements. Here’s your time. Here’s your resources. Let’s go!’ I was like, ‘OK! Let’s map the requirements. Let’s track them through to make sure they’re right. Let’s track the interfaces.’ Which is exactly what I do on a project here at GE.”