Changing the Conversation

Many Lives of Engineers

“At its heart, music, like engineering, is about the raw act of creation. While the ‘design methodology’ is very similar between the two, the thing that I love most about music is the fluidity of its physics: time, space, frequency, timbre. The rules you are typically bound to in the engineering world fall away, and you’re free to bend reality as a new lever of conception.”

— Morgan Hendry (B.S., Aerospace Engineering – Astronautics, ’05; M.S., Astronautics, ’06); mechanical systems engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; drummer, keyboardist, composer, founding member of Beware of Safety

“I was a fan of ice hockey for many years, and what I always admired about it was that it demands an extremely high level of skill to play at all, let alone play well. I love ice hockey for the same reason I love engineering: it's a challenge.”

— Ellen Emerson, junior, computer science and physics; president, USC Women’s Ice Hockey team

“Art and science are often seen as very separate fields. However, I have found the two to be quite complementary. Engineering teaches a lot technical skill as well as an understanding of what is physically possible, while art provides a less structured, creative means to test these abilities.”

— Lian Lash-Rosenberg, senior, biomedical engineering; president, USC Corpus Callosum

“ Coffee has always been intimately tied to my identity as an engineer. For my first coffee roaster, I used basic circuitry skills to modify a $20 popcorn popper into a small-batch coffee roaster. Now, as a computer science major, I dream of applying machine learning to build and train an automatic coffee roaster, which takes cues from sound, smoke and color to roast the perfect batch of coffee every time.”

— Irfan Faizullabhoy, sophomore, computer science