May 02, 2013
Graduate Feature: Megan Joiner
What did you enjoy most about your program?
My favorite part of the electromechanical program is the focus on hands-on experience. While the classroom is important to teach theory, there is really no better way to learn engineering than in a laboratory. Unlike many other schools, Wentworth includes a laboratory for every single technical course that we take. This means that there was no point in my education where I was learning the theory behind something without reinforcing that theory with hands-on experience. The program also has a huge focus on design. We are required to complete four major design projects, and I learned more during these projects than I did in any other aspect of my education. The program really enforces the importance of the entire design process, and gives the students a chance to solve problems and troubleshoot on their own. The independent design courses give students a chance to integrate both the mechanical and electrical aspects of our program into one project.
What was your most memorable college experience?
The senior design process was probably my most memorable college experience. My group members and I were able to work together well and communicate effectively, and, most importantly, we were all extremely invested in the success of the project. We were able to depend on each other, which really made a difference. I think that it is because of our team dynamic that the five of us will remain close friends after graduation.
What’s the most important thing you learned at Wentworth? What’s your biggest takeaway?
I think the most important thing I learned was how to work in a team with other engineers. Even the most intelligent engineers will never succeed if they cannot learn to communicate and work as part of a team. This has been both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. I have learned how to effectively delegate, communicate, and resolve conflict among my peers. I have learned to look at both engineering problems and my own leadership style in ways that I never would have before.
What did you like best about co-op, where did you do it, what was your position?
My favorite co-op was at iRobot. I worked there full time during the summer 2012 semester, and have stayed on part time for the past year. I am a mechanical engineering intern. Overall, iRobot is just a really cool place to work. I still get excited to walk through the halls and see robots running around amongst the people. iRobot is a highly collaborative environment, and they allow their interns to really take part of the design process with their robots. My first co-op was with FastCAP Systems (as an electrical engineer during the summer 2011 semester). This was an extremely unique experience. FastCAP is a start-up company. When I started, there were no more than two dozen employees, six of which were interns. The company made ultracapacitors for energy storage applications, and their technology was extremely impressive. They received a ton of media attention while I was there, and my picture was even put on the White House website. I was part of a team which designed a system to show government officials in Massachusetts the potential for harvesting tidal energy on Martha's Vineyard.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have recently been accepted to Boston University and will be pursuing a master of science in the materials science and engineering program. I am going to focus my studies on nanotechnology and how the technology can be applied to the field of renewable energy. I hope to pursue a career in green technology. Eventually I would like to obtain a doctorate in mathematics and teach at the collegiate level.
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