So material science and engineering is
the study of all materials around you and how to optimize and fine-tune their
properties to create the best sort of material possible. So, for instance, if you
want to make something harder or stronger or tougher, or waterproof, you
can do all of those things with the various principles that we learn in our
classes. My favorite class is reaction
engineering. It kind of offers the best of both worlds for me. I’m really
interested in how chemistry works. I’m really interested in how to scale those
chemistry’s for process development. And in reaction engineering, you learn both
of the things. In my lab, I get to work with some of the most advanced
characterization and state-of-the-art equipment, which allows us to conduct
research and also gives you the skills that you would need going into an
industry setting. The whole program really rounds out your understanding
about how materials behave—such that you can enter really any industry upon
graduation. The internship that I’m going to start this summer is with Medtronic. And it is a full-time position with them, working in they’re joining and
development facility. In industry, I’ve been an employee at 3M for almost the
last two years, working in a tech aid position.
This position is actually quite common in my major. I would say probably 30
to 40 percent of my peers also work at 3M in some capacity. There’s a really
good community within the chemical engineering and material science
department. Our faculty actually hosts the discussions themselves. So you are in
a group of 20 students and you get to work with a world-class leader in the
industry on a more personal level. My professors are some of my favorite
people in this entire world. And I love going to class every day just to listen
to and be inspired by what they have to say. And it’s always remarkable to me how they are world leaders in their respective fields, but they still manage
to make so much time for us—inside and outside of office hours, and empower us
to ask intelligent questions and pay attention to the small details.