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