Meet Ben

Major: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Reading, MA

Why did you choose Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
I chose Cornell because it suited a wide variety of my interests and career goals. Not only does Cornell provide one of the top programs in the country for my major, but it also was a place where I could see my passions thriving. I could both get a hands-on engineering experience with excellent professors, while also enjoying some side hobbies, like taking an astronomy class with some extremely notable figures in the field, or taking skiing and mountain biking as PE classes. Cornell has excellent opportunities for a wide range of interests and topics, and I knew it would be a great choice for me to find out what I really enjoy and want to do with my future.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
The hands-on aspects of the core curriculum for my major especially is an extremely valuable and enjoyable part of the Cornell experience. Making sure that every mechanical engineer gets trained on how to actually fabricate and dissect parts and assemblies for real devices provides excellent experience for transitioning into real engineering industry. Like many other engineers, I am part of a student project team, and this experience has not only taught me invaluable lessons about engineering design, but has also provided me with multiple career opportunities that would have been unavailable otherwise. I’m the propulsion lead for Cornell’s Rocketry team, and every day I get to work on rocket motors that deliver 1000+ pounds of thrust. There are very few college students in the world that can say they are involved in something like that!

How did you get involved outside the classroom?
As the propulsion lead for Cornell Rocketry Team, I lead a team of 8 students as we develop and test hybrid and solid rocket motors to put into our rocket for a yearly competition. It takes up a lot of my time, but the experience is unique and definitely worth it. I am also a Co-President of Cornell’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which is a club for Hispanic students that meets a few times a month and is focused on networking and career opportunities, and attends a super fun national convention every year. I am also the financial manager of a small student company called Cornell Productions, that has about 15 active employees and provides lighting and audio services for events such as dance shows, concerts, and other performances. I was involved in theater in high school, and this job is a great way for me to get off the engineering quad and see the great performances that student clubs at Cornell put on!