Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Ryan Cherniak
Education (UR and additional): BS (Mechanical Engineering), University of Rochester, 2009; MS (Mechanical Engineering), Georgia Tech
Current city/state of residence: Ann Arbor, MI
Job Title: Senior Engineer – Natural Gas
Employer: Robert Bosch Corporation
Community activities: Habitat for Humanity, Society of Automotive Engineers
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
I chose to attend the University of Rochester because of the unique curriculum structure and excellent engineering programs. I wanted to have the freedom to explore other fields of study while also focusing on engineering. I was looking for a school that could offer me a lot of course options and still have small class sizes.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
Immediately after graduation, I enrolled in graduate school at Georgia Tech. I’ve always had a passion for propulsion technologies, especially internal combustion engines. I wanted to learn more about them, so I chose to go straight to graduate school. I completed my Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in fluid and thermal sciences in 2010.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I currently work as a senior engineer for the Robert Bosch Corporation in metro Detroit, MI, the hub of the U.S. auto industry. My projects are focused on developing advanced natural gas engine designs and fuel systems for on-highway commercial vehicles. I chose this position because I am very passionate about alternative fuel technologies for transportation applications. I truly enjoy applying my educational background to solve challenging problems related to greenhouse gas emissions from internal combustion engines. Natural gas engines offer a unique opportunity to reduce emissions with a low cost domestic fuel.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
The courses I took in heat transfer and thermodynamics at the U of R have been most useful to me in my career. They provided me with an excellent theoretical foundation that helps me understand the fundamentals of advanced engine designs.
How do you balance your work and personal life?
I balance my work and personal life by staying very organized and strictly separating work from my personal life. I strive to leave my work at the office and focus on other equally important aspects of life during my free time. I’ve found it very helpful to workout after a long day and take that time to decompress before spending time with friends. It’s important to clear your mind so that the next time you return to work you feel refreshed and alert.
What advice do you have for current students?
My advice is to follow your passions and never stop learning new things. People discover new passions everyday and it’s important to explore courses at the U of R that are out of your general field of study. You all have a unique opportunity at a University that allows you that freedom. Many schools do not provide such flexibility.