ENGINEERING IN ACTION
Lillian ‘Lilly’ Papalia, a rising junior in mechanical engineering, is enrolled in the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET)’s Autonomous Machines thread. Her team won the GM/MIT Blacktop Build during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP) and in doing so carried forward a NEET tradition — NEET Autonomous Machines student Sebastian Uribe was among four winners of […]
“I think ocean engineering as a field is really interesting because it marries the holistic side of living on planet Earth with solving all the technical challenges mechanical engineers face,” explains Michelle Kornberg, now a senior. This balance of using fundamental theories in areas like fluid dynamics, controls, and acoustics to solve problems in underwater environments has been a driving force throughout her academic career. “I am interested in how we can apply specific ocean engineering solutions to larger global problems, particularly climate change,” Kornberg adds.
Natalie Lao was set on becoming an electrical engineer, like her parents, until she stumbled on course 6.S192 (Making Mobile Apps), taught by Professor Hal Abelson. Here was a blueprint for turning a smartphone into a tool for finding clean drinking water, or sorting pictures of faces, or doing just about anything. “I thought, I wish people knew building tech could be like this,” she said on a recent afternoon, taking a break from writing her dissertation.
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Cloudy beige liquid swirls inside a large bioreactor resembling a French press as Jenna Ahn examines small flasks nearby. The lab where Ahn is working, in the subbasement of Building 66, has the feel of a beehive. She’s part of one of nine teams of undergraduates huddling in groups at their benches. Every now and then, someone darts off to use a larger piece of equipment among the shakers, spectrometers, flasks, scales, incubators, and bioreactors lining the walls.
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