Four engineering undergrads wow Board of Visitors with accomplishments, future plans

From left: Ethan Look (CS'18), Xavier Williams (EE'18), Trevor Hanken (ME'17) and Jacqueline Machesky (CEE'17). (Vanderbilt University/Heidi Hall)

Four students provided a highlight of the Oct. 21 Board of Visitors meeting, telling the group of advisers to the School of Engineering about their lives before Vanderbilt and about their full slate of activities now. Some even impressed the group so much, they collected internship offers before they left the meeting room.

Short talks by undergraduates are integral to the twice-annual meetings, so that board members can hear directly what programs are working and where there’s room for improvement.

This time, the board heard from:

Trevor Hanken (ME’17) from Pacific Palisades, California, who said he was active in lacrosse and debate in high school and applied for early decision after experiencing the friendly atmosphere on Vanderbilt’s campus. He recently worked in Assistant Professor Cary Pint’s lab doing research on nanomaterials and has interned at National Instruments. He volunteers with Dore for a Day and as a Design Studio mentor and said he minored in engineering management to open doors to consulting positions after graduation.

Ethan Look (CS’18) from Palo Alto, California, who said his sister’s type 1 diabetes helped lead him into studying computer science because he wanted to come up with software that made managing the disease easier. He interned with Tidepool the last two summers, writing their first iPhone app, among other accomplishments. He is president of VandyApps, participates in the university’s club swim team and would like to go to work for Google, Facebook or a similar company after graduation.

Jacqueline Machesky (CEE’17) of Cincinnati, Ohio, who majors in math and physics as well as engineering. She said she applied to four schools of engineering, but the Opportunity Vanderbilt scholarship package allowed her to attend here. She quickly became involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers chapter and enjoys competing in its national steel bridge challenge. She is applying to graduate schools and, having worked in Vanderbilt’s Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability, would like a job involving military aircraft.

Xavier Williams (EE’18) of Fayetteville, Georgia, who described a long list of extracurricular activities he’s enjoying at Vanderbilt in addition to a challenging course schedule. Those include the Theta Tau engineering fraternity, the National Society of Black Engineers, fencing, cave exploring, working as a lifeguard and Diwali dance. He especially enjoys the satellite club and using his ham radio license (KM4OLP), two passions combined in a recent Vanderbilt CubeSat project. He is considering continuing on to grad school.


Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
On Twitter @VUEngineering