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Study Abroad: Semester at Sea

Cornell Engineering student EmilySemester at Sea: Canals and the Atlantic

In Fall 2019, I made the best decision of my life and joined Semester at Sea (SAS), a study abroad voyage of discovery. In my time there, I visited the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Ghana, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. We would have classes while sailing at sea and then dock at a port for 3-6 days. In that time, we did not have classes and could go anywhere in the country as long as we made it back on the ship before it set sail.

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Project Team: Cornell Baja Racing

Cornell Baja Racing: my favorite aspect of being a student at Cornell!

Project team Baja RacingCornell Baja Racing is my favorite aspect of being a student at Cornell. Baja Racing is a club where students with many different skills and backgrounds come together to build an ATV! Our car can climb hills, go fast, pull serious weight, and go anywhere off-road. During the school year, we build the car by dividing into different sub-teams. Each sub-team is responsible for designing and constructing different aspects of the car, and everything is combined at the end in order to complete the car. The car is then raced against other schools at our three annual competitions in the spring!

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Project Team: Cornell FSAE Racing

Cornell Racing: Cornell Engineer’s oldest Project Team!

FSAE Driving DayMy name is Andrew and I am a Junior chemical engineering major at Cornell. I am a part of many student activities, including club sports and Greek life, but I wanted to share my experience on Cornell Racing, the school’s oldest Engineering Project Team. Cornell Racing, or more affectionately known as “Car Team,” designs, builds, and races a formula-style race car every year. We have members from many different majors both in and out of the engineering school, so with a strong interest in race cars, engineering, or working on a project, we’re sure you’d be able to find a home within the team. Though we primarily recruit from prospective Mechanical and Electrical Engineers now that we run a 420V powertrain, we’re committed to finding the best new members from any discipline.

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Project Team: CU Solar Boat

CU Solar Boat: gathering the skills and the experience needed to bring alternative energy into the mainstream and fuel a more sustainable future.

While the link between engineering and positive world change can often get lost in a flurry of detailed formulations and carefully crafted diagrams, nowhere is this connection clearer than in the landscape of project teams housed under Cornell’s College of Engineering. My experience with CU Solar Boat, for example, has been Project Team CU Solar Boatinstrumental in helping to strengthen this tie between our curriculum and our role in revolutionizing the future. We are an undergraduate project team working to design and construct a single-occupant, solar-powered vessel that will carry the Cornell spirit to the intercollegiate Solar Splash Competition. While our objective is speed, what we learn along the way is vastly more important — we are gathering the skills and the experience needed to bring alternative energy into the mainstream and fuel a more sustainable future. As the youngest and smallest project team on campus, CUSB is unique in that every member can remain incredibly involved in each aspect of the production process. Our team is composed of five engineering sub-teams — drivetrain and steering, hull, solar, system controls, and business — that each specialize in actualizing one facet of our boat’s design. More seasoned teammates serve as guides for younger members as they acquire technical expertise that surpasses what is learned in a lecture hall. From working with CAD software to soldering solar cells or machining anti-ventilation plates, the emphasis on hands-on discovery is an essential component of the project team advantage.

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Senior Reflection: Stephie’s Story

Cornell Engineering student StephieComing to Cornell four years ago, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was thrilled to be an engineer, excited about all the people I would meet, and looking forward to moving to New York, but beyond that I had no idea what it would be like. I could have never imagined this, finishing off my senior year in the midst of a pandemic with half of my classes on Zoom. I could never have imagined the powerful depth of the friendships I have made at Cornell, which have prevailed no matter the circumstances. And I could have never imagined the current career trajectory on which I have found myself, a trajectory which was completely off the table when I first stepped foot onto North Campus.

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Senior Reflection: Samuel’s Story

The Year It Has Been

Before the Australian bushfires could be quenched, Covid-19 hit the globe. California then caught fire and George Floyd died at the hands of the police. It did not end there. Chadwick Boseman and Ruth Bader Ginsburg then passed away; the first an artist dedicated to his craft; the second, an accomplished Cornellian dedicated to the pursuit of  justice. Over in East Africa, love was lost between Kenya and Somalia while in Myanmar internal conflict and political crisis ensued. The world this past year, as it seems, has been like an infant experiencing endless bouts of colic.

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WICC: Making Tech Accessible at Cornell

WICCIn my first semester at Cornell, I decided to sign up for WICC’s (Women in Computing at Cornell’s) Lunch Bunch Program, which allowed female undergraduate students to converse with professors over a meal. In one session, there were around 7 other female undergraduates interested in computing majors getting to know Madeleine Udell, a professor in the Operations Research and Information Engineering department at Cornell. After hearing her impressive list of achievements, I needed to know: How had her experience as a woman in a predominantly male field been? She chuckled when I asked this and told me that she actually pushes against the status quo; she hasn’t had many terrible memories in which she was pushed against because of her gender. I almost did not believe her, until I realized that it was her resilient mindset that allowed her to not just come out of university and the workplace unscathed, but also stronger.

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Life Outside the Classroom

Cornell Engineering student StanleyBeing a Cornell Engineer isn’t only about taking classes, but also about working and interacting with other students, both in and outside of the engineering college. One of the most notable activities is project teams. Taking classes really focuses on giving you the foundation you need to understand important concepts in different engineering fields, but it usually doesn’t offer as many chances to apply that knowledge to real, physical projects. I joined a project team called Cornell Cup Robotics in my freshman year, and even though I was still new to developing large software projects at the time, I was immediately integrated into teams working on core features for the robot we were developing. I really appreciated being able to work on major parts of the project, all while learning about the tools commonly used in the industry. Another nice perk is that many project teams usually have large lab spaces, which are also open outside of regular club meetings, making it a perfect study spot!

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Project Team: CUAUV

Project Team: Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (CUAUV)

Project team CUAUVFor many of us on CUAUV, we have found our team to be like family. Every meeting is surrounded by an atmosphere of genuine curiosity for learning as well as light-hearted humor. Project teams at Cornell all offer this same type of experience: they allow students to practice their knowledge in real-life projects while finding your friends in the process. But for CUAUV at least, our experience goes beyond this. Many of our members have received full-time jobs from their experience through our large alumni network and sponsor relationships. Members have also found study partners for many of the classes they share and are able to depend on each other for advice. And, yes, we also have found our life-long friends here

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Why NS1150 is a must-take-class at Cornell

A photo of Cornell Engineering student GlennMy favorite non-engineering class is Nutrition, Health, and Society.  I found the course extremely interesting and relevant to my everyday life.  The core lesson of the class is one I feel every student at Cornell should learn — how you can live the longest, healthiest life possible.

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