ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT | SEPTEMBER 2014
KU major: Architectural Engineering, Class of 2012
Current occupation: Peace Corps Volunteer (Education Sector in Uganda)r
Research mentors while at KU: Oswald Chong, Brian Rock and Tom Glavinichy
Describe the undergraduate research experience that you had while at KU: The independent research courses and undergraduate research position topics were all about sustainability in engineering design. The sustainable topics included: housing options for low-income families, low-energy lighting and cooling systems for buildings, and green vehicle fueling/charging system. The topics were broad and gave a good overview of sustainable solutions in the engineered world.
Q: What do you think was the most important thing you learned while doing undergraduate research?
A: How to develop informed opinions on cutting edge topics. Sustainability is a nebulous word; to have a clear definition of what sustainability is has helped me make informed decisions about my career and life.
Q: What advice do you have for undergraduates who might be interested in doing research?
A: Do it! The research or creative scholarship won't always be easy, but you will take more away from doing the work than you put into it. Find great mentors and let them help you find answers!
Q: Do you use any of the skills or perspectives gained doing research in your current occupation? How so?
A: The outlook of the world through the eye of sustainability has helped me choose appropriate projects to work on in developing communities/nations. There are many unsustainable engineering projects in the developing world. Critically analyzing projects, like research, is key to finding solutions.
Q: Many undergraduate researchers are making decisions about what to do after they graduate from KU. Having been in those shoes, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then? Do you have any advice?
A: Go out of your comfort-zone and try things. Never let anyone define "the real world" for you. Academics can be your "real world," but don't forget to trust your gut.