May 02, 2013

Graduate Feature: Thomas Fuller

Thomas Fuller

Electromechanical Engineering

What did you enjoy most about your program?

The electromechanical engineering program teaches students how to work really well in a group. There is not a single student in the major who did, or could have done it alone. Learning how to depend on your classmates and have your classmates depend on you is one of the most painful and important lessons we learned. I think that knowing I was part of a group of really gritty people who worked extremely hard for five years to achieve something is the most rewarding thing.

What was your most memorable college experience?
I think speaking at the fifth-year design presentations. I always imagined that to be kind of a "field of dreams" for electromechanical engineering majors. I seriously couldn't stop smiling. Truly working really hard on something and having it pay off is an experience that I think many don't get to have.

What’s the most important thing you learned at Wentworth? What’s your biggest takeaway?

First, anyone could do what we do in the electromechanical program if they showed the same devotion to their goal, respect for their classmates, and willingness to work hard. Also, there is no technique to improvement. You just have to practice the thing you want to get better at, and think about it critically, discuss it honestly and objectively with others, and be kind to yourself until you are satisfied with your results. 

What did you like best about co-op, where did you do it, what was your position?

I worked as a Software V&V student engineer at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., since summer 2011. V&V stands for "verification and validation." Our job was basically to make sure that the software responsible for guiding a nuclear missile worked as required.  My favorite part of the job was that pretty much everyone there is also a nerd so I have a lot to talk about with them. There are people there who are so smart it will scare you, but I have never felt patronized as a result of an interpersonal interaction. Everyone there really treats you with respect, and wants you to learn as much as possible. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I am going to the University of New Hampshire to study for a master's degree in mechanical engineering, with a focus in control theory and system dynamics. After that, I hope to obtain a PhD in a similar field and eventually go to space. 

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