As referenced in my other blog posts I have a semi-formal lineup of inventions, including:
As well as a couple of other wearables:
To understand this success, you must first understand the story behind it. To start this story at the beginning, in middle of the spring semester, I get an email from my prior ENGE 1114 (engineering design) professor. He was looking for people to volunteer to show off some of the cool things that were made on a uPrint 3D printer at the rededication ceremony of the Frith Lab, an on-campus design lab. Being a member of Galileo (an engineering living learning community focusing around personal development), I had access to a uPrint in my dorm, and I had printed quite a few things, including the cell phone case and glasses mentioned above. Figuring that I did not have much to do that week, I signed up.
Thinking that I would be advertising a random, run down lab in the basement of Randolph Hall to a group of incoming freshmen, I put on my light up duct tape tie and brought my printed wrist-mounted cell phone case and glasses. When I arrived at the lab I was shocked. What I thought for sure was a small, mediocre, and bland room was actually an extremely spacious, modern, and well-built lab, outfitted with an array of 3D printers and a laser cutter, two devices that I had become extremely adept at using in Galileo, as well as a CNC router. However, my biggest surprise was yet to come.
When I got to talking with my professor, who had not mentioned these other devices to me, I realized that I had a business card in my wallet that I could show off as well. I was intrigued as some of the attendees to this event, including several professors and the College of Engineering department head, and I wondered exactly who was coming to visit. Although I was expecting (and dressed) to speak with undergraduates or incoming freshmen about how 3D printing works, I was totally caught off guard when I learned that the attendees were none other than the Dean of Engineering’s Board of Corporate Sponsors. Despite looking completely informal, they thought many of my designs were interesting, and one even asked for the IPT file for the glasses. All in all, it was a huge success.
After the Board had left, and a couple comments about how surprising it was that I, “was not offered a job on the spot,” I approached my professor with the intent of asking about the DREAMS lab (a school program focused around designing additive manufacturing devices), that I was and am looking at joining. Before I could asking him about it though, he addressed me and some of the other students that had attended the event and mentioned that he was looking for undergraduate teaching assistants to help run the lab in the fall. I sent in my résumé without hesitation. One of the Graduate TAs in Galileo’s design lab even offered to be a reference after he saw me helping a few students learn how to use Rhino CAD software.
The bottom line is that I ended up scoring my first job, and it would not have been possible without my various inventions, as well as my training, Galileo, and that decision to take one professor over another.
Starting July 7th, I will be giving tours of the Frith Lab to incoming freshman during orientation, and for fall semester I will be working with those same students in order to help them become better engineers, and helping them design the things that will ultimately shape their lives here at Virginia Tech.