Building fun with UR Makers

By Bob Marcotte
University Communications

Chris Smith has been taking things apart and putting them back together again since he was eight years old.

“For Christmas I got an air compressor. Most kids get an Xbox,” he joked. “It’s always been hands on for me.” Now the freshman in Mechanical Engineering is sharing his skills with fellow UR students as a member of – and mentor for — a new club on campus.

The goal of UR Makers is to bring together engineering, arts, and sciences students who like to design and build things – and want to learn how to use a variety of tools as they do so. Not for a class. Not for credit. Just for the fun of it.

Their playground: The fabrication lab in Rettner Hall, with its state-of-the-art 3D printers, brand new Smithy 3 in 1 drill/mill/lathe machines, and plenty of space to spread out in, accessible 24/7.

“We think there’s a real opportunity here to fill a niche that’s not currently filled,” said club leader Sarah Harari, a junior in Computer Science and Digital Media Studies. “There’s no other space on campus where students of different majors can really work together to build whatever comes to mind.”

The club, still in its first year, has already sponsored:

  • a “retro tear down” event, during which members took apart an aging computer monitor and other obsolete equipment donated by the University.
  • a mouse trap car race night
  • tech talks on a variety of topics.
  • Lego Robotics Night
  • an Arduino Workshop
  • 3D Modeling and Printing Workshops

Currently, club members are finishing up a cabinet with shelves and a plexiglass sign with the club’s name, illuminated with LED lighting. They will be displayed in the space UR Makers has been assigned in a corner of the lab. It is part of the club’s effort “to get our name out there,” Harari explained.

“We want to have multiple projects going on, that students can work on during the week (the club currently meets 4-6 p.m. each Sunday),” Harari added. “We want them to feel this is a space where they can come in and bounce ideas off other students and meet with people who have different skill sets.”During a recent Sunday meeting, everyone got a chance to use various tools.


For example, Lia Klein, a sophomore in Computer Science, wielded a dremel tool to etch the outline of the club’s name in the plexiglass sign. She had never used a dremel before she joined the club and received a 45-minute introduction to basic tools and safety with Jim Alkins, Rettner Hall’s Senior Laboratory Engineer who formerly headed a machine shop, as part of Research and Development at Kodak.

“I didn’t really even know we had something at the school where you could use all the power tools for free and come in whenever you wanted,” Klein said. “And I feel like they’re really treating us like adults, which I appreciate.”

She hopes that, after working on a few projects with UR Makers, “I might gain the confidence and ability to do some projects on my own, and build stuff for my dorm room.”

In a nearby room, Steven Broida joyfully exchanged high fives with Caulin Nelson as the freshmen in Mechanical Engineering successfully cut notches in the cabinet, then fit shelves into them. This was Broida’s first experience using a power saw. “I’m learning as I use it,” he said proudly.

UR Makers is open to students of all majors and interests, regardless of experience. Click here to learn more or e-mail

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Julia Cosse

defaultName: Julia Cosse

Occupation: Graduate Student

Education (UR and additional): B.S. (Mechanical Engineering) University of Rochester 2008, M.S. (Aerospace Engineering) California Institute of Technology 2009, M2 (Fluid Mechanics) École Polytechnique (France) 2010, expecting to finish Ph.D. in Aeronautics from California Institute of Technology in 2014.

Current city/state of residence: Pasadena, CA

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

One of the things that I really liked about the University of Rochester curriculum was the fact that I wasn’t going to be tied down into one discipline. Many universities I was looking at would force you to transfer between colleges inside the university if you wanted to switch from psychology to engineering. Rochester allowed me to study whatever I felt like without having to jump through hoops.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

When I started at the University of Rochester I was torn between studying psychology and mechanical engineering so I enrolled in introductory courses in both. After my first year I realized that while I found psychology very interesting, engineering was a better fit for me. I’m very happy with the choice I made, and I’m also glad that I had the opportunity to wait on making that choice.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I worked at Todd International Theatre program as the master electrician. As such, I was responsible for the lighting in all of the plays, teaching and leading a group of students in setting up the various light effects for the shows. While this was a lot of work, it taught me a lot about how to organize and lead a group of people in a large-scale project. The theatre also has an incredible group of people that I really enjoyed working with.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I started graduate school the fall after I graduated from the University of Rochester. My senior year I applied to graduate schools (in the fall and winter) and attended several of the on campus recruiting events put on by the career center (late winter and spring). During this time I talked to several companies about what sorts of things I would be doing if I were to take a job straight out of undergrad. Ultimately I decided that graduate school would open the doors on opportunities I thought were most interesting (teaching and research).

How do you balance your work and personal life?

To be perfectly honest this is something I still struggle with. There is always a battle between personal and professional obligations, and I haven’t always done a good job of keeping my life balanced. While I certainly could improve this balance, my recent strategy is to avoid working on the weekends. Everyone needs some time for themselves to recuperate, and learning how to allow yourself to take that time is important.

What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?

One of the best things that I did was getting involved in research early on. I was able to get an internship at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics during the spring term of my sophomore year. Following that, I spent two summers in research labs across the country, which provided me with a better understanding of what graduate school would entail. I think it’s incredibly important to put some thought into your career outside the classroom, and to find a few jobs or internships prior to graduating so that you have some real working experience and a better understanding of what you want to do after graduation.

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Laura Cressman

cressmanName: Laura Cressman
Occupation: Product Mechanical Engineer – Robotic Engineer
Education (UR and additional): BS Mechanical Engineering
Current job title: Product Mechanical Engineer
Current employer: QinetiQ North America
Current city/state of residence: Pittsburgh, PA
Family: Married to Alex Cressman
Community activities: Crossfit, PSL, O- 25 Women’s soccer league

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

The day my dad and I stopped by U of R for a tour was the same day the Mechanical Engineering pumpkin launch occurred. We also were fortunate enough to get a tour of the engineering school from the person who turned out to be my favorite professor, Professor Clark. He was the main reason I decided to attend Rochester. Rochester was very focused on the success of all of their students and the professors were very passionate about that. The campus itself and overall atmosphere is also what drew me to attend.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

I always knew I wanted to be in engineering from a young age. I participated in Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair in high school and focused mainly on robotics. The idea of being able to be innovative and creative to produce a product always interested me. Being a mechanical engineer gives me the ability to do that on a daily basis.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I worked at the Common Connection (is it still called that?!) desk in Wilson Commons for 3 years. I really enjoyed being able to help current and potential students with questions about Rochester. I also played Junior Varsity soccer for 3 years, which allowed me to play the sport I loved, but gave me more time to focus on my studies. Through both of these activities it boosted my confidence and also taught me leadership and teamwork skills I use in my job today.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I was fortunate enough to start my dream job in the robotics industry. I moved out to Pittsburgh the week after graduation and started my job as a Jr Mechanical Engineer at QinetiQ North America. I am able to help create new and improved concepts that can be used to save lives of military and first responders.

Where would you like to be in five years?

I am currently working towards receiving my PMP certificate so I can be a project manager on several engineering based projects. My goal is to receive my PMP by 2015 and continue on in the robotics industry. I also see myself starting a family with my husband, Alex; even though we already have a mini family with our two dogs, Tucker and Zeke, and cat, Nyxy.

What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?

I recommend studying hard, but also giving yourself the time to do things that you enjoy. Creating relationships and friendships was a major thing for me when I attending Rochester. Most of my friends from college are still a huge part in my life today. I also recommend using all the resources for your particular major that U of R offers, such as TAs, study groups and office hours.

Summer Plans Series: Rocky’s Road Trip

By Rachel Goldstein ’13
University Communications 

Rocky traveled over 10,000 miles this past summer alongside Michael Myers ’16, a trumpet player with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Based in Canton, Ohio, the Bluecoats consist of 150 members between the ages of 15 and 22. Their most current show, “To Look for America,” brought Rocky and Myers to more than 30 cities across the country to compete in Drum Corps International competitions and to perform for audiences totaling nearly 300,000. A drum and bugle corps consists of a color guard, percussion instruments, and a brass section. They play a variety of pieces meshed together and move into various formations. Each group has a set routine that is performed in front of judges. The Bluecoats placed 5th in this year’s Drum Corps International competition.

Founded in 1972 as the Canton Police Boys Club, the Bluecoats are now coed and recruits musicians from across the globe. Although many members are majoring in music, others like Myers have different plans. Myers studies mechanical engineering at the University of Rochester, while playing in the University’s pep band on the side. However, it was back in high school when Myers was first introduced to large-scale drum and bugle corps competitions and it was not until last fall that he decided to apply for a corps membership, beginning the extensive, year-long audition process that landed Myers in the 2013 drum and bugle corps.

The Bluecoats began their summer tour in Denison, Ohio where they spent one month rehearsing 12 to 14 hours a day to learn the show. Following this, musicians, staff, and volunteers traveled across the United States in a convoy consisting of three tour buses, a 53-foot equipment trailer, a 48-foot cafeteria trailer, and additional support vehicles. The procession carried Rocky to many well-known venues including Alamodome in San Antonio, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

“If you do this you love performing,” says Myers, who performed at least 30 times over a course of 60 days. “It’s a lot of physical work, a lot of cardio,” Myers admits, “and the show leaves you exhausted.” However, the hardest part, according to Myers, is the mental aspect of being part of a large performance group. “You can’t switch off–if you turn off you’re going to miss something and you can’t miss something,” Myers explains. “You get lunch and dinner for a mental break.”

A show, which may last from 10 to 15 minutes, involves a mash up of tunes from a variety of genres. The Bluecoats’ 2013 theme, “To Look for America,” included variations from America by Simon and Garfunkel, Spring from the “River” by Duke Ellington, the Ebony Concerto by Stravinsky, and Bryant’s concerto for wind ensemble, to name a few. The 150 members work for hours to become a cohesive group, capable of playing, performing, and moving as one body. Each person is an integral part of the show. “Everyone is family,” says Myers, “because you have to be able to trust every single person.”

Although the summer tour may have been his last experience in a drum and bugle corps, like most former members, Myers will remain part of that community. “A former Bluecoat is family,” Myers added, “whether they marched with you or not.”


Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Nick Hamlin

nhamlinName: Nick Hamlin

Occupation: Solver of Problems

Education (UR and additional): BS, Mechanical Engineering; BA, History (both UR). Postbac coursework in Economics (Seton Hill University)

Current job title: Proinspire Fellow- Operations

Current employer: GlobalGiving

Current city/state of residence: Washington, DC


Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester? 

I came to Rochester because it was the only school that would not only let me study engineering, history, and music, but actively encouraged it!

When and how did you choose your major(s)? 

I’d picked out my rough areas of focus during my last year of high school.  I’d had a blast competing in “Battlebots” competitions, so I knew I had to do something related to engineering.  I’d also made a documentary film with two friends that won the national history fair in 2004, and I didn’t want to miss out on studying history either.  Finding a school that would let me do both was critical, and ultimately why I chose Rochester.  The fact that they then let me do a Take 5 in Ethnomusicology was the icing on the cake.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them? 

Directing and performing with the Midnight Ramblers was the defining aspect of my college career.  My education at UR consisted of half classroom learning and half leadership, organizational, and performance skills I could not have developed without the Ramblers.  I also founded the UR chapter of Engineers Without Borders during my Take 5 year, which was a great opportunity to learn about the challenges facing startup organiztions, though I wish I could have hung around longer to see the group grow into the excellent program it is now.  I’m extremely thankful for the current Hajim students who have put in such excellent work to help EWB develop, and I can’t wait to see how their project goes!

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path? 

I moved to the Pittsburgh area and worked as a reliability consulting engineer at PTC, the engineering software company.  I had no clue what I wanted to do, and I was lucky enough to find a great job close to my apartment.  Even though I’d never worked in reliability before, working at PTC was a fabulous chance to “learn by doing” and I was able to get my feet wet in the “real world” of international business.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career? 

I’m currently a member of the Operations team at GlobalGiving, an online platform that connects donors with grassroots international development projects around the world.  I’d been interested in international development and non-profit work ever since my Take 5 year and my work with EWB-UR, and I worked closely with a startup NGO in Pittsburgh, the Cameroon Football Development Program, after graduation.  Thankfully, I found the ProInspire fellowship, a program that pairs young professionals in the private sector with non-profits looking to leverage corporate skills.  ProInspire led me to GlobalGiving, and the rest is history.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation? 

Even though I’m not working in a strictly engineering role at this point, the ability to “think like an engineer” and work methodically and logically through a problem has served me extremely well, especially in the non-profit world where I encounter fewer people with a technical background.  As miserable as it was sometimes to be stuck on the 2nd floor of ITS doing problem sets at 1:00 AM, being able to execute on a complex challenge in a tough situation like that is invaluable.


The Elusive Geomechanics Major

By Dan Wang ’14
Univ. Communications

Out of the more than 4,500 full-time undergrads at the University of Rochester, exactly three are pursuing a major in geomechanics. Just who are these brave few?

The trio is made up of very different students: a freshman from Kingston, Jamaica who emphasizes her environmentalism; a junior who went to high school in Rochester and would like to work on an oil platform or for an oilfield services company; and a Take 5 scholar from outside of New York City who would like to do fieldwork to study seismology and geothermal energy.

But first, what kind of degree are they pursuing? The bachelor of science degree in geomechanics is a program run jointly between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department. An interdisciplinary major, completing geomechanics also means taking classes in math, physics, and chemistry.  Lisa Norwood ’86, ’95, assistant dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and a former geomechenics major, describes the program this way, “The curriculum emphasizes the application of the principles of mechanics to problems associated with the atmosphere, the oceans, and the solid earth.”

Kayon Ellis ’16 has not yet declared her geomechanics (geomech) major, but she’s quite set on pursuing it. Ellis comes by way of Jamaica, and this is her first year living in the United States. A commitment to environmentalism and an analysis of basin sediments in streams prior to coming to Rochester propelled her to study geomechanics. “I find the study of the earth fascinating,” says Ellis. “You just can’t study anything in isolation; you have to analyze the whole system.”

Two years ahead, Michael Grotke ’14 has different goals in mind. Grotke grew up in Tucson, Arizona and attended high school in Rochester. On campus, he works part-time for the Earth and Environmental Science Lab, and is a member of the SA Appropriations Committee. What does he see himself doing? “I hope to use this degree towards a career in the oil and natural gas industry, most likely shale-gas and crude oil exploration.” The companies he’d like to apply his geomech training to include Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell, and Halliburton.

Skipping two more years ahead, the final geomech major is Brian Castro ’12 (T5). Though he had a hard time deciding between studying physics and mechanical engineering, he has embraced the geomech major with vigor. Castro also has extensive experience in fieldwork. Research on geothermal energy took him to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and, as part of an NSF-sponsored program, to work at a geosciences research company in New Zealand. He also conducted seismic research at the University, in Professor Cynthia Ebinger’s lab. Castro’s interests are more academic, and he’d like to further study seismology, geothermal energy, and planetary science.

The major is robust enough to accommodate all of these interests. Dean Norwood sees no shortage of ways to use the geomech major. “Career opportunities include work with the U.S. Geological Survey and with departments of natural resources or environmental protection at the federal, state, and county levels; with the oil and mineral resources industries; and in multidisciplinary private consulting firms engaged in geological engineering.”

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Mike Levine

Name: Mike Levine
Age: 25
Education (UR and additional): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester, 2010
Current city/state of residence: Green Island, NY
Job Title: Process Technician – Epitaxial Growth
Employer: Crystsal -IS ( a subsidiary of Asahi Kasei)
Activities: live concerts, bowling, shooting, other things that are fun.

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I chose the University of Rochester immediately after attending an open house fall of my senior year of High school. I had visited and was seriously considering four or five other schools with comparable engineering programs in the Northeast, and until that open house, I felt indifferent to my collegiate destination.   I felt any of these places will get the job done, prepare me, and enable me with an engineering mindset.  The thing that made U of R stand out and made me want to attend here was the freedom I was handed to shape and build my own curriculum as I saw fit.   A University that respects and trusts its students with the core of their joint purpose was a place I wanted to be.

When and how did you choose your major?

I had always been interested in math and science and, to be completely honest, I cannot ever remember making or thinking about making this decision.  I just know that at some point towards the end of high school, I had a keen idea that I would major in mechanical engineering for a few reasons.  It fit my interests, and I knew that mechanical engineering is made from a knowledge base that does not become outdated and is always useful no matter what the situation, and the sheer number of things in every room, of every building that have at some point had a mechanical engineer have something to do with is massive.  Suffice to say, they will always be a demand for them.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

Working with event support not only taught me about live production, sound mixing, and theatrical lighting, but I had far too much fun to really call it work. Also, I was with MERT for two years, gaining both an EMT certification and an environment to learn about, practice, and consider emergency medicine.  An event support job at the end of my freshman year got me involved with UR ITP’s Todd Theater, first working as a light board operator, Assistant Master Electrician, Master Electrician, before joining Drama House and then The Opposite Of People Theater Company as Technical Officer and Technical Director respectively.  The list of skills, lessons, friends, and pride I have taken away from my work at Todd & TOOP is simply too numerous to contemplate listing.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I went to work at the summer camp I worked at after graduating high school.  This time, I was working as a unit director supervising counselors, which is the position I held five years ago.  I chose this job because I loved the camp and the history I had with it.  I liked that it gave me a place to live and time to figure out my next move.  I had not rushed into any particular job or career path. I was still busy with school.  This gave me a reward, a buffer, and a job, which is quite the trio.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

Now, I work for Crystal-IS in Green Island, NY as an Epitaxial Growth Process Technician.  The choice was easy. It was something I was overqualified for and interested in.  More importantly, my over-qualification has ended up being a positive thing, for while our company expands and undergoes change, it allows my manager to evolve my position with the needs of the company and my interests.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Both my major and my work in technical theater helped me learn the ability to problem solve, address truly unique problems, plan and yet remain flexible, and understand that ,as cliché as it is, anything can be accomplished if the needed time and resources are spent.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Either in the pit lane of any Formula one race, or on a yacht trackside at the Monaco Grand Prix.

How are you still connected with the University?

I am an active audience member, donor, and alumnus of TOOP coming to see shows as they are put on. Also, I keep reading about UR or the things its students/faculty are accomplishing in the news.

What advice do you have for current students?

Find the thing that makes you excited to work, in school or professional life.  Know that failures will happen, so learn from them, and through them, learn to trust yourself.  The confidence you will gain is empowering, so work toward that goal, and try not to worry about much else.

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Jeanette Quinlan

Name: Jeanette (Neri) Quinlan
Age: 28
Education (UR and additional): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester, 2005.
Current city/state of residence: San Francisco, CA
Job Title: Thermal Engineer
Employer: Space/Systems Loral
Family: Husband: Michael (B.S. Chemistry 2005, M.S. Chemistry 2007, Ph.D. Nuclear Chemistry 2011 – all at UR)

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I chose the University of Rochester in large part because it offered the opportunity to take classes outside of my major (like psychology and history) with people who were actually in that major, unlike at some of the engineering schools I had applied to. Also, the cluster curriculum let me study a particular subject in more depth than if I were taking just a few core classes elsewhere.

When and how did you choose your major?

I was in the Mechanical Engineering department from the beginning of my freshman year. As a young girl, I always wanted to be an astronaut.  The engineers had the job at Space Camp of “fixing the satellite in orbit.”  I felt that Mechanical Engineering was the broadest of the engineering disciplines and would let me pursue a variety of careers should the astronaut pool be competitive (or non-existent like it is now).

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I was very involved in the Ballet Performance Group, including serving as the Vice President my junior year and President the first semester of my senior year.  We put on one large show each semester, performed in several small performances throughout the year, and participated in other campus events.  It took a lot of work to organize all of those events and people, and it taught me valuable leadership skills.  Also, it was a creative release from engineering, and my college experience wouldn’t have been the same without that group. I also did work study at the Laser Lab during my last two years as an undergraduate.  My tasks included creating a 3-D CAD representation of the architectural drawings for the new facility for the Omega EP laser. The CAD was intended to help figure out how key components of the facility would fit through the I-beams once they were in place. I’ll never forget going onto the construction site and seeing how large these I-beams looked compared with the tiny drawings on my screen. The importance of going onto the assembly floor and seeing first-hand what you’re modeling on a computer screen is something that is very fundamental to my job today.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

During the summers following my sophomore and junior years of college, I interned at a company outside of Pittsburgh that makes large industrial power cabinets. I worked with the only mechanical engineer there who was primarily a thermal engineer but also did all of the structural and vibration analysis at the company. Thermal engineering made a lot of sense to me, and I decided I would be happy pursuing it as a career. I couldn’t wait to get into the working world after graduating. Before my second semester of senior year began, I accepted a position as a Thermal Engineer at ITT Industries in Rochester, NY. Formerly a division of Kodak, they build electro-optical satellites that orbit the earth. I finally fulfilled my ambition of working in the space industry.

What do you do now, and why did you choose this career?

After about 5 1/2 years at ITT, I applied to Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, CA, which makes commercial communications satellites.  I have been at my new company for over a year now continuing to work as a Thermal Engineer. My group is responsible for designing and building hardware that will help to reject the heat dissipated in the satellite to space, testing the satellite user vacuum conditions at various temperatures, and predicting on-orbit temperatures through analysis, among other tasks. I learned many of the fundamentals of analyzing satellites at my first job and have been able to apply that knowledge to my new company, while still coming up to speed on a new technology, orbit, analysis program, and approach to satellite building.

What advice do you have for current students?

Enjoy the experience of being an undergraduate, and take advantage of all of the extracurricular activities while you can.  If you can find an internship or academic summer program in your field, I think you can gain insight and perspective into how the fundamentals that you learn in class are applied outside of the classroom.

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Galen Mittermann

Name: Galen Mittermann
Age: 31
Education (UR and additional): B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Rochester, 2002; M.B.A., University of Oregon, 2010.
Current city/state of residence: Portland, Oregon
Job Title: Analyst
Employer: Market Strategies International

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?


When and how did you choose your major?

In high school, I studied overseas and majored in sciences. It seemed like a good idea.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

Crew. I gained discipline and also leadership, organizational, and teamwork skills.

SACC. I got my first taste of management and business.

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

Student activities

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I moved to Seattle to look for work and to be an athlete. You only live once.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I am a market research analyst. I fell into this after graduate school – it is not where I see myself in 5 years. Also, I do small business consulting with my wife.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Basic engineering skills. I designed consumer products for a few years.

How do you balance your work and personal life?


Where would you like to be in five years?

Managing a division of my company.

How are you still connected with the University?


What advice do you have for current students?

Do those things today that in 20 years you will be happy that you did. Your career will change several times before you are 30. Start your job search early. Go to graduate school.

Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Bridget (Baran) Ward

baran(ward)Name: Bridget (Baran) Ward ’05

Education (UR and additional): BS (Mechanical Engineering), University of Rochester, 2005; MS (Mechanical Engineering), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Current city/state of residence: Tewksbury, MA

Job Title:  Project Engineer

Employer:  Weir Power and Industrial

Family:  Married

Community activities:  Participate in the MMO which is an organization founded for a friend that died of cancer.

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

The moment I arrived on campus to visit it just felt right, I loved the campus and the people I met, I knew that I belonged there. 

When and how did you choose your major?

I chose mechanical engineering during orientation week freshman year.  I described my love for math to one of the engineering professors and he said; “Why don’t you try mechanical engineering?”  So I did and it was a perfect fit!

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I played varsity softball for four years and it was a wonderful experience.  I made some incredibly strong friendships and learned a lot about hard work, determination, and leadership.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I went to graduate school for a master’s degree.  I decided on that path because unlike a lot of my classmates I was not “burnt-out”; I was upset to be leaving the schooling environment, so I didn’t!

How are you still connected with the University?

I get newsletters and mailings from the engineering school and athletic department and the university itself. I attend alumni events in the Boston area where I currently live.  I attend Meliora Week every few years and I give back to the University every year.

What advice do you have for current students?

Give it your all, no doubt it will be hard in the moment and at times you won’t want to, but in the end, it will be worth it.  That goes for work and play!!