B.S. Electrical Engineering

[MUSIC PLAYING] In high school, I
actually really wanted to ski in college. And then I had injuries
and setbacks that way and ended up choosing
DU, and got here, started the engineering
program and really loved it, and added on a second
engineering degree. So I really liked it. [LAUGHS] I have a few older
brothers, and one of them is an electrical
engineer himself. And so he got his degree when
I was in like fifth grade. And so he explained to
me what engineers do. And he said how engineers
have a strong liking for math and science. So that really opened
my eyes to engineering. And then as I further moved
along through high school, I thought it was
really interesting that we weren’t using more
renewable energy generation. And so I was like, oh,
well, I feel like we should be using more of that. That’s what I want to work with. We have students from
all over the spectrum, from students that
they are wondering what they want to
do with their lives or they feel lost, from students
that they really know already, like, oh, I want to
be such-and-such. Our school is great,
especially for students who aren’t really
sure what kind of path they want to go down yet,
because every student takes the same coursework
for the first five quarters. And so you get a good mix
of electrical engineering, computer engineering,
mechanical engineering. So with our curriculum, we
have two design projects that we work on. Junior year, we work on a
project called Integration. And we designed an
autonomous Rover vehicle. It had to be able to avoid
obstacles and climb stairs. So I’m an electrical
engineer, but you also have to work with
computer engineers and mechanical engineers. During that
Integration project, we were able to see
more than just– we were able to apply
what we had learned, but we were also able to see
what other things can happen that you wouldn’t
necessarily see in just a problem in engineering. It was cool to see
it working at the end and go through that process. It was a good primer for
going into Senior Design. For Senior Design, I’m working
on an application for water pumping in Morocco. And so we’re trying to
replace a diesel engine with a renewable energy source. I was originally
looking at trying to do this solar-powered
pump project, just because I thought it would tie in a little
bit more to what I’m doing. But we’re working with
Folsom Custom Skis. They have to bend a lot
of their edges by hand. What they hired us to do is
to work with this prototype that they already had that will
take in their drawing files and actually bend
the skis according to the geometries of
that drawing file. So it’s a little bit different
from my background and all the courses I’ve taken. This has been a good experience. It’s been a real good
way to diversify. I’ve really enjoyed
those two classes, in particular, because it’s
applying the knowledge that you have learned and also seeing
what other interfacing that you need to consider with
different problems. There are many opportunities
for undergraduates to get involved in research. They just need to
reach out to faculty. So I’d been working in
the Unmanned Systems Lab here and looking
at ways to replace conventional flaps on aircraft. That kind of started
me on the role for getting interested
in aeronautics. And so I saw this internship
position, and I applied for it. And they responded very quickly. [LAUGHS] We fully support any
college internships. They gain something that
we usually cannot offer at the university. So they see what’s
happening in real world. Last summer, I worked at
NASA Langley Research Center. I worked on the
design and analysis of a lightweight UAV aiming to
maximize payload capabilities in aircraft. And so we were
mimicking birds of prey. A lot of birds of prey
can achieve a 2 to 1 payload to weight ratio,
which is really cool. I think the research
that I was doing here helped me with being considered
for that position at NASA, because there was
some correlation. And yeah, both of
those two experiences really fueled my
interest in that area. I did an internship
last summer at ComEd, which is the utility that
serves the Chicago area. But I was looking at more
the integration of renewables to the grid and looking
at how to improve the reliability of the
grid with those renewables. One of my professors
here actually helped me. He pushed me to get
that internship. And he had some
connections there, so he was able to distribute
my resume and my application a little bit, which was nice. Everyone in the department. I worked in had
gone to grad school. And at the time, I was
kind of on the fence of whether I wanted to go or not. And that really helped solidify
for me that I wanted to. So that was kind
of an aha moment, figuring out that,
OK, you know what, I think that’s the next step I
want to make in my career path. If you don’t have passion
it’s going to be painful. [CHUCKLES] So it’s
pretty much if they like what they’re doing. Even if they fail,
even if things don’t work, at the end of the
day, it’s like, do you like it? Can you leave it for a week or
two, and then you come back, and you can find that
energy and motivation? If yes, then it’s the way to go. It’s super prevalent
in today’s day and age, just because everything
is being digitized. Everything is done through
some sort of process or some sort of computer. Look into the future. Look at the industry and
see what the trend is. Look at the job market. Look at the technology trends. Part of me wants to say,
be more prepared to go into engineering. Take AP physics. Take some of the classes
that would’ve set me up a little bit better for that. But part of me also
wants to say that the way things have worked out have
been really great for me. And I think that if
it had been different, then I might not have happened
to cross the opportunities that I have here. I’m really happy
with the education that I’ve gotten here. I’m happy with the
choices that I’ve been able to make here
and the opportunities that they’ve led me to. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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