People of Engineering & Applied Science: Imani Paul, sophomore, biomedical engineering major. Imani was a summer intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, extracting DNA from patient samples.
Q. What would you say to someone who might be interested in doing an internship next year?
A. What I found really helpful was leveraging our alumni network. That’s actually how I got this internship. I emailed a few alumni from the school. You can narrow it down by field, so I narrowed it down by biology and by city. I knew I wanted to stay at home and to do something in the city. I found two or three alumni, and I emailed them, asking them if they had any positions or knew of any to please let me know. One alumnus worked in that lab at Sloan Kettering, and he forwarded my resume to them, and asked them to call me. I had a phone interview a week later, and a week or two after that, I was notified that I had the internship for the summer. Honestly, I had Googled internships, New York, lab, biology, and I never found this, but by talking to the alumni, I found a few different options, and this fit the best for me.
The Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) chapter at Washington University in St. Louis is holding the university’s first large-scale hackathon, called WUHack, Sept. 12-14 in the Lopata Gallery. Over the weekend, more than 100 of the brightest hackers from throughout the Midwest will travel here to spend the weekend creating beautiful projects from scratch.
Students can apply here. The event will allow up to 150 participants from any university or college.
What makes this hackathon unique is the highly entrepreneurial nature of the event, says Andrew Buckley, external relations officer for the Missouri Eta chapter of Upsilon Pi Epsilon at WU. Each sponsoring company will be given the official UPE Resume Book as well as a copy of the resumes of each of the participants at WUHack.
"We want WUHack to be more than just a run-of-the-mill hackathon, and we think this type of hackathon will really draw some excellent entrepreneurial talent from all across the Midwest to Wash U for them to showcase their talent and network with some incredible companies," Buckley says.
Sponsors including Answers.com, Google, AT&T, Microsoft, Square, Lockerdome, FindTheBest and IMC will be at the event see what these students can build and the talent coming out of Washington University and the rest of the Midwest.
For details, visit here.
People of Engineering & Applied Science: Nick Okafor, junior, Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Development double major, coordinator of TESLA (Teaching Engineering to St. Louis Adolescents)
Q. What are your plans for TESLA?
A. Even though we’ve been volunteering for two years now, this will be the first year we’re operating as TESLA. This is growing out from the Ervin Scholars Program, which was running after-school clubs at Brittany Woods Middle School. Our purpose isn’t to take over this presence of community service and outreach in engineering and science. We know there are other groups who do similar projects, whether they be monthly or a one-time event. We hope that with TESLA, we’ll centralize the process. If you want to do Engineering outreach, you can go through us and we’ll have the curriculum and supplies ready.
Sara Chinnaswamy (Photo by E. Brook Haley)
Sara Chinnaswamy’s visit to some orphanages in southern India has led to an effort by four Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Science students to provide a solar power system at a girls’ orphanage.
“Having a community or home that makes you feel comfortable is so important, and I want these girls to grow up in a place that makes them feel this way,” Chinnaswamy says. “When I discovered they needed electricity for their building, I felt compelled to help out.”
Chinnaswamy, a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in writing, is spearheading the effort with a goal to raise about $12,000 by the end of July to purchase and install the solar power system at the Thalir orphanage in Coimbatore, India. Joining her are fellow Engineering students Alexandra Rodriguez-Beuerman, a senior majoring in chemical engineering; Amy Brummer, a senior majoring in chemical engineering with minors in energy engineering and nanoscale science and engineering; and Jakob Leonard, a senior majoring in chemical engineering. Chinnaswamy’s brother, Jay, a student at Northeastern University, is also on the team.
The group estimated a need for 8-10 kW of instantaneous power from the solar array. They compared three types of solar panels and different types of batteries based on efficiency and cost. Their calculations led them to conclude the orphanage will need 34-50 solar panels, along with the installation hardware and the inverter that converts the direct current energy from the sun into electricity that appliances can use. Total costs, along with travel for the team, are estimated at about $12,000.
The team has created a fundraising page on indiegogo. Chinnaswamy has already raised some funds through some fundraisers during the spring semester. In addition, she is seeking a government subsidy through the company from which the panels will be purchased. The group also has a Facebook page.
In this episode of the “People Behind the Science” podcast, Kurt Thoroughman, PhD, associate professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as director of undergraduate studies of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about his research and what he does when he’s not in the lab or classroom, including improv theater.