Finding a Niche in Consumer Electronics
Ashutosh Shukla found the work he loves when he took a part-time job at Bose Corp., the Framingham, MA producer of high-end sound systems. Shukla will graduate from Georgia Tech this August with plans to sign up as a full-time design engineer at Bose this fall. "I've loved every semester I've worked there," explains Shukla. "I was inclined toward consumer electronics already, but working at Bose gave me a greater appreciation for the industry and the complexity of design."
During his Georgia Tech years, Shukla worked at Bose in product development with the home audio group, contributing to new systems and integrated home theaters. "I worked on design and production issues," says Shukla. "That involved figuring out how to improve methods along the assembly line and checking parts that were failing." Bose is one of the few companies that still manufactures most of its goods in America. "They do outsource some assembly in Mexico and the Far East, but the complex electronics are done here in the U.S.," notes Shukla.
Shukla came to mechanical engineering naturally. "It's the same old engineering story," he explains. "When I took things apart as a kid, I was able to put them back together and I didn't have any parts leftover." Eventually Shukla wants to return to school for a graduate degree, possibly in education. "I'd like to be a teacher eventually," he said. "I really enjoy education."
E-mail Shukla at Ashutosh24@yahoo.com
Mixing Engineer and Entrepreneur Genes
After Lewis Hong graduates from Stanford this year with a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, he intends to spend some time learning business. "I plan to work in the field for a year or two to get some business experience because I would like to open my own engineering firm," says Hong.
As a student, Hong followed his father's footsteps, working with the German athletic footwear manufacturer, adidas-Salomon. Hong's dad was hired on as an engineer with adidas in Taiwan when Hong was a young child. The family followed dad's adidas work to Hong Kong, where Hong attended high school. The family then relocated to the adidas U.S. headquarters in Portland four years ago. "My dad has been in shoe engineering in charge of production," says Hong. On Hong's maternal side, there are generations of entrepreneurs, so his desire to blend engineering with business arrives genetically.
Ultimately, Hong would like to move from engineering sneakers to a role in the development of environmentally progressive transportation. "I would like a job where I can change the way people live for the better, especially in transportation," notes Hong. "There has to be a more efficient way for people to travel than the car." Whatever area of engineering Hong chooses, he plans to keep it both green and entrepreneurial.
E-mail Hong at firstname.lastname@example.org
Discovering an Aptitude for Nukes
Back in high school Audrey Chang attended an engineering camp. During the program, the young pre-engineering student took a survey that focused on interests and strengths in engineering. Chang came up with a high score in favor of nuclear engineering. She took a closer look at the subject and said, "It caught my eye." Since that day Chang hasn't looked back. Early next year Chang will graduate from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in nuclear engineering.
Though she still has a year to go before she picks up her bachelor's, Chang is already employed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she works on new technology that writes directly onto silicon wafers. "I've been working at the Lawrence Berkeley lab part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer," explains Chang.
Chang is considering all options in nuclear engineering. Though she enjoys her research work at Lawrence Livermore, she wants to investigate other areas of nuclear research. "I'm also interested in research into fusion and plasma technology," says Chang. She notes she is open to the idea of leaving the laboratory. "I enjoy research, but I haven't been exposed to hands-on consulting or power plant technology."
Engineering came naturally to Chang who grew up in a household of engineers. "Both my father and brother are electrical engineers," says Chang. "I grew up in a house full of transistors."
E-mail Chang at email@example.com