Cornell Engineering: A Virtual Visit

Learn More About Cornell Engineering


A photograph of Cornell Engineering student Temesgen

Meet Temesgen

A photograph of Cornell Engineering student TemesgenMajor: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Why did you choose Cornell and/or Cornell Engineering?
I choose Cornell Engineering because that was the only place I got into! In hindsight, I feel pretty blessed to have had the opportunity to be a Cornellian. It has pushed me both academically and socially. It has not only broadened by view of the world but also I find that my lens can be narrowed down to things I want to focus on.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
The people are definitely my favorite thing about Cornell. The people are so awesome; they’ve made me, a self-proclaimed introvert, social. Cornell has also given me the chance to meet professors who have ended up being amazing mentors.

How do you get involved outside the classroom?
Along with a few friends, I was able to work on a seminar to introduce high school students in Ethiopia to the benefits of robotics and AI. Additionally, I am also involved in research with Professor Ruina on improving motor response while taking into account backlash and friction.

How was your experience adjusting to Cornell?
It was hard but also exciting. There were lots of assumptions I had about people that were not accurate and coming here really gave me an opportunity to come out of my bubble and interact with people that had different backgrounds from me.

Meet Kenny

A photo of Cornell Engineering student KennethMajor: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

Why did you choose Cornell Engineering?
The project teams: My passion for engineering came out of the four years I spent as a part of my high school’s FIRST Robotics Competition team. Finding an engineering competition team like that in college became a priority for me, and Cornell Engineering’s project teams immediately stood out. If there is a type of vehicle you can think of, there is a project team for it at Cornell: racecars, drones, boats, rockets, submarines, and even hyperloop pods. I ended up joining the Baja SAE Racing team which builds an off-road buggy from the ground up every year to race in three intercollegiate competitions all around the United States. I was able to jump right into the machine shop and by the time we won the 4-hour endurance race that season in Kansas, there were parts on the car that I could proudly say that I had made. I learned countless skills from upperclassmen mentors as the list of designs I owned grew to include an engine dynamometer, wheel hubs, driveshafts, and eventually our fully custom V-belt continuously variable transmission. I love the hard-working, go get ‘em spirit of the team: bonding over late nights troubleshooting FEA models in the Swanson computer lab and early Saturday mornings running the CNC mills in the Emerson machine shop. There is something magical about the combination of competition, collaboration, and community in the project team experience that has brought out the best in me as an engineer, teammate, and leader. Being a part of Baja has given me some of my best friends, mentors, and memories at Cornell so far.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
My favorite thing about Cornell Engineering would have to be the motivation, competitiveness, and inspiration in all of my peers. In group projects or on my project team when hard technical obstacles are encountered, there is always unspoken consensus to stay up late and exhaust resources. It’s a group that understands results matter but that success can only come out of hard work, collaboration, and intermediate failures.

What do you do outside of the classroom?
My main involvement outside of the classroom is being on the Baja SAE Racing project team. I’m involved in designing the driveline components of the car and my proudest achievement so far is designing a custom continuously variable transmission. This year I’m one of the Team Leads and am hoping to learn valuable leadership skills while also focusing on on-car data acquisition and testing for load case validations.

Photo of Cornell Engineering student Harleen

Meet Harleen

Photo of Cornell Engineering student HarleenMajor: mechanical engineering
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why you choose Cornell Engineering?
I chose Cornell Engineering because I felt that students here learned by working together. This sense of collaboration, along with world-renowned professors, interesting classes, and cutting-edge technology is what I felt set Cornell Engineering apart.

What is your favorite thing about Cornell Engineering?
My favorite thing about Cornell Engineering is the people, from my peers to the professors. Everyone here is always willing to help me whenever I need, whether it is in office hours or sitting in Duffield Atrium.

What do you do outside of the classroom?
Outside of the classroom, I participate in the Society of Women Engineers and am a part of a cultural club called CSSA. In addition, some semesters I work as an undergraduate TA.

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