The Dublin Engineering and Design Academy has provided me great opportunities to learn about the fields of engineering and the engineering process. In lieu of job experience, I have recounted my experiences on a field trip provided by the Academy and a set of guest speakers to my engineering class. To learn more about my qualifications, please click the link above to open my résumé in PDF format in a new tab.
In November of 2019, the D.E.D.A. organized a field trip to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. My group was shown around the National Ignition Facility on the lab campus. The emphasis of the NIF tour was placed firmly on the importance of the facility as well as the advancements required for the facility to have become functional prior to its commission, or the so-called "Seven Wonders of the N.I.F.". Time was also given to trivia such as the use of the facility as a set for the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness.
My takeaway from the field trip was the importance of every discipline of engineering, from Mechanical Engineering to Electrical Engineering to Computer Software Engineering in complex facilities like the National Ignition Facility.
In October of 2019, I went on the Manufacturing Day field trip organized by the Tri-Valley R.O.P. that showcased local manufacturing. In particular, I was shown the facilities of Kensington Labs in Dublin, a semiconductor-manufacturing robot company. I learned there about the high standards to which robots in this type of manufacturing have to adhere and about the practicalities of local manufacturing.
For the second manufacturer, I visited TopCon's local optics center in Livermore. There, the different jobs available in local manufacturing were shown and the global importance of these facilities was emphasized. TopCon also showed its assembly environment and the importance of efficiency when manufacturing in the Bay Area.
For the 2018-2019 school year, the Academy paired all of its students with a mentor working in an industry in which they showed interest. I was paired with Manash Sengupta, an engineering director at Oracle. The mentorship program taught me and the other students the value and technique of interviewing, dressing professionally, and learning about engineering careers.
In March of 2019, Mr Yosinski spoke for my Computer Science Applications class and presented about Machine Learning. He demonstrated his Deep Visualization Toolbox and showed us how artificial intelligence programs "see" by not seeing. The most important thing I learned from Mr Yosinski's presentation was the heavy math background needed to create deep learning and artificial intelligence: he recommended taking linear algebra before exploring the field.
The presentation worked to de-mystify artificial intelligence to me and showed me that, with only some further learning about the subject, it was possible for most anyone to build an A.I. solution to their problems. I was interested in Mr Yosinski's work because it was a more advanced solution to different computer science problems than I was familiar with.
In February 2019, the engineering academy took a field trip north to Vallejo to tour the Cal Maritime University. After discussing the academic and military draws of the school, our group toured the ship present on campus and looked around some of the classrooms and the central campus. The trip to Cal Maritime showed us that a school does not ncessarily have to fit the traditional mold of an American college and that non-traditional schools—such as Cal Maritime—can present more opportunities to students who do not fit the mold of the traditional American student.
After finishing our tour of the university, our tour moved on to the campus of the solar energy company SunPower. At SunPower, we were able to walk around their company headquarters in Richmond. The tour of the headquarters offered an opportunity to see a less traditional workplace. The SunPower workplace was a mix of open-plan and large offices along with copious resources for free time and food. I learned that there is more to corporate life to a faceless office and that, even in the energy sector, there are many computer science-related jobs available.
In March 2018, Google invited the Dublin Engineering and Design Academy on a field trip to their headquarters. Google showed the attendants, including myself, their new product, Bulletin, and walked us through the process of designing a product and going from concept to reality. Guides from the company showed us the Google campus and met several members of the Bulletin team from a set of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. The Bulletin presentation taught me that even companies as gargantuan as Google follow the same engineering process as Dublin Engineering and Design Academy classes have taught us.
Afterward, we went to the Santa Clara University where students showed us the engineering program at the Jesuit college. The trip revealed to me how engineering programs function at the university level. This was particularly obvious at Santa Clara. The university, despite its relatively small size, had a rather small engineering program. It was thrilling to see a university in such proximity to Dublin.
In late February of 2018, two guest speakers in the Civil Engineering discipline presented about education, jobs, and life within their section of engineering. The key takeaways were how difficult it was to graduate college as a civil engineer, how much work is often needed to move up within an engineering firm, and the several differences between small and large civil engineering firms. I learned that civil engineering is a good way to be the change in the world.
I was interested in these guest speakers because, as a fellow human and user of infrastructure, I felt that civil engineers could use their field as a tool to expand accessibility to buildings and places. As a bicyclist, especially one who commutes to school daily, I thought that civil engineering could be an avenue to expand the availability of bike lanes and other shared-use roads to more places. The purpose of the guest speakers was to augment the knowledge of the students about the field of civil engineering.