Jefferson Hu

What does it mean to you to be an engineer?

Engineers are open-minded professionals, always ready to consider a new way of doing things.

How is your field being redefined for today and tomorrow’s needs? What contributions do you hope to make to this redefined landscape?

Decades ago, mechanical engineers might have pulled out a slide rule to make calculations,
and while it’s still a field very much based on mathematics and physics, we live in an age of advanced technology now, and we have many tools at our disposal.

Mechanical engineers have always had the foundational knowledge to make contributions
in a variety of fields, and those fields are only increasing in variety and importance. I’ve accepted a job as a field service engineer at Rockwell Automation, and I could be working on anything from aerospace or automotive equipment to infrastructure projects, chemical manufacturing, or power generation. The common goal is to
make whatever you’re working on more efficient, smarter, and more scalable.

How did NYU Tandon help you redefine yourself?

I was able to pursue rocketry, an area that I was really interested in, as the founder of Rogue Aerospace, which is a Vertically Integrated Project. It taught me to meet challenges head-on, because as a rocketry enthusiast in New York City, it’s not as though you can just walk out onto Flatbush Avenue and test what you’ve built. I was also on Tandon’s Concrete Canoe team — which requires practicing rowing on a clean, placid body of water, so that posed its challenges as well.

Another formative experience has been working as a MakerSpace teaching assistant; in that capacity, I’ve guided more than a thousand students, faculty, and visitors through technical for 3D printers, laser cutters, and other equipment. I know now that I have the ability to break down a process into clear steps and convey that knowledge to others. That could be useful both professionally and in other parts of life.