Life as a Chemical Engineering major includes writing lab reports, a whole lot of mass and energy balances and a fair amount of scary looking equations. Being an engineer at Tufts means academic rigor and hard work, but in an environment that motivates you. As a sophomore, I have realized how collaborative and supportive my classmates are, and how easy it is to form meaningful relationships with the professors. Engineering at Tufts is using the tools we learn in class to reach out to the community, whether by doing STEM outreach to local high school students with STEM Ambassadors or by creating products that aim to improve society with clubs like Design for Social Good. As an engineer, I have a sense of belonging to a network of students, alumni and faculty who are all passionate about making an impact with what they do. I feel this atmosphere every day, but sometimes, the colors of the School of Engineering at Tufts shine brighter than usual.
One of those moments was last week, when the different engineering departments at Tufts came together to celebrate Engineers week. There are many words I could use to describe E-week: informative, engaging, inspiring... However, the first one that comes to mind is fun. The events started with a kick off carnival that embraced the cheerful nature of the School of Engineering. If you and your bestie have ever asked yourselves who can get into a Hazmat suit faster, you could find out! The carnival was followed by Engineering Student Club Projects Display that showcased the awesome work our clubs have been working on this year. Tufts MAKE presented their Smart Door Lock project, which is able to open and close a dorm door using commands via wi-fi. We marveled at the Tufts Electric Racing Team’s car and were delighted by the Tufts Robotics Club’s drivable, motorized couch! On Thursday night, the Society of Women Engineers hosted a Trivia Night with tons of fun facts, cool questions, bonding and pizza. And when watching the “Are you smarter than a Faculty Member?” Jeopardy style game, I couldn’t help but smile at the fun and playful competitiveness between students and professors.
E-week gave students the opportunity to network and learn from inspirational speakers. Norman Fortenberry, the executive director of the American Society for Engineering Education, gave a speech on the challenges that the future engineer will face. Cathy Leslie, the executive director of Engineers Without Borders, spoke about socially conscious engineering driven by a passion for changing the world. My favorite event of the week was the Knowledge Beyond College discussion, where four Tufts alumni spoke about their experiences as underrepresented members of the engineering community and gave us their advice on internships, jobs and our studies. After the panel discussion was over, we had the chance to network. I spoke to Sol Ucciani, an environmental engineer from Argentina, and our conversation helped me clear a bit what I want to do in the future!
The last event of the week was hosted by the Design for Social Good club, and it was an Intro to Design workshop aimed for students with little experience in this field. This event showed Tufts students’ commitment to coming up with projects for social change and making an impact on the community.
These events were all condensed into one week, but this is really what the life of an engineer looks like at Tufts: opportunities to develop creativity and design skills, to network events with alumni, to join awesome organizations and to be a part of a smart yet collaborative community. Engineering at Tufts is human centered and socially conscious, and I could not be happier to be a part of this community.