Steamboat grad looks forward to earning engineering degree with new appreciation for sports helmets

Tom Ross

— Steamboat Today welcomes submissions of brief news items with photographs about students from Routt County who are graduating from college this spring.

Lorin Paley, a 2010 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, survived the coldest winter on record in Hanover, New Hampshire, and is looking forward to completing her final term at Dartmouth College and graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering in June.

“The temperatures (were) finally warming in mid April, but it will be weeks before the snow melts and the trails dry for mountain biking,” Paley wrote in a recent e-mail.

And Paley hasn’t put her passion for the outdoors on the shelf after recovering from a broken neck sustained in a mountain biking injury in July 2014. She told Steamboat Today this week that she is a strong advocate for wearing helmets, whether she is biking, skiing or paddling. The fact that she was wearing a helmet at the time of her injury last summer allowed her to recover from a fractured vertebrae in her neck without the need for surgery.

“The Dartmouth Outing Club is my focus at school when I am not buried at the Thayer engineering building,” she wrote in a e-mail.

Paley says she survived the epic New England winter taking part in pond hockey; she also taught two physical education classes in trail work and mountain biking this spring and still found time to complete several design projects and apply for patents with the help of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial network while carrying a heavy load of coursework.

Her projects include improving cervical collars for neck injuries (first-hand experience helps), and, of course, a skiing device – AT binding plates.

After graduation, Paley plans to turn her attention to professional pursuits, joining a small engineering group, Square One Systems Design, in Jackson, Wyoming, to work on a robotics project.

Although she has completed her undergraduate studies at Dartmouth, Paley said she will return in the fall to serve on a team of upperclassmen facilitating the college’s outdoor adventure themed orientation for first-year students.

She is the daughter of Bill and Jamie Paley.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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