I chose to study Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Penn because it fit my academic interests and gave me opportunities to find new passions. My favorite high school science course was Chemistry, and one of my early technology interests has been alternative energies, in particular understanding their economic and environmental impacts relative to more traditional energy sources. This past summer I used the skills I gained in my freshman and sophomore years at Penn to contribute to an alternative energy research project. The goal of the work was to design the profit-maximizing process configuration to convert biomass, coal, and natural gas to transportation fuels. I am able to explore new topics through interesting electives, and the rigorous required coursework gives me the skills to branch out into other fields as my interests change.
I have taken a wide range of Science, Math, and Engineering classes at Penn, two of which are particular favorites. Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering has given me a new perspective on how concepts which are essential in understanding Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering can seamlessly cross over into Bioengineering environments. Additionally, I enjoyed Thermodynamics because it was my first authentic Engineering experience, which entailed learning fundamental concepts about energy and system equilibrium.
Looking forward, it is difficult to say how exactly I will use my Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering degree. My summer experience gave me a great insight into what it would be like to enter a research environment. Currently, I am still exploring the ways in which I can combine my Engineering and Business educations and am excited about the adventures that lay ahead. No matter which job or profession I ultimately decide to pursue, I expect the skill set I am acquiring by studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will serve as a great foundation in the future.