When I got to Tufts I had zero expectations of what I would be doing, what I would be learning, or who I would encounter. Only thing I knew for sure is that I would graduate in four years with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Since that first day, I have been thoroughly blown away by the mechanical engineering education I have been receiving. It seems every semester they find a way to surpass the new expectations I have, now that I have some years under my belt. They have surpassed them so far that I am back to not having any expectations for what I will learn, do, and be on campus.
My first semester at Tufts I took a music engineering (electrical and computer engineering) class as my introductory engineering course. We completed all sorts of amazing projects such as creating synthesizers and pianos using electrical hardware and coding many features of GarageBand using the programming language MATLAB to produce our own song. Because of that class I knew I wanted to minor in Music Engineering. The next semester I took a computational engineering course where we learned how to program raspberry pi in the language Python. The final project for that class was creating mini Amazon warehouse robots that could find products in a simulated field autonomously. When we got the assignment, we didn’t know how on Earth we could complete it as freshmen, but sure enough we were able to produce a working bot by the end of the semester.
Sophomore fall is when they started to hit us with the really impactful stuff. We began to start taking classes in our majors and the Mech E department wasted no time in giving us experience in using our education to impact the world. In both our Material & Manufacturing class as well as our Mechanics 1 class, we were learning how to test devices in an effort to understand how they were made and how they could be improved. One device in particular was the iWalker 2.O which is an innovative walking assistant for people that have leg injuries below the knee. We were learning how to be engineers that improve the lives of people who need our skills, rather than desire our skills. When the spring rolled around we began designing systems in our Thermodynamics, Mechanics 2, and Engineering Design classes. I was able to calculate how much vegetable oil it would take to fuel a bus around our campus for a day, I learned how to design a Kinetic sculpture and use kinematics to determine relationships of motion within the system, and I started designing and learning fabricating skills to produce products that would have a global impact.
Given the journey I have already had so far, I see a very bright future for my engineering career at Tufts and I’m excited to see what they throw at us next.