Jesse Hinricher ’19
Advisors: Dr. Barry Johnston (academic); Dr. Fikile Brushett (research)
10-Eng concentration: Materials Process and Design
Why did you decide on course 10?
In high school, I was fortunate to take AP Chemistry with a fantastic teacher, Mr. Dulas, who inspired my love of chemistry. Also, growing up on a farm, I wanted to continue using my hands to build productive equipment. Chemical engineering was the natural choice for me. It combined the technical skills I sought with the practicality to turn an idea into reality. When I transferred to MIT, I chose to continue majoring in chemical engineering because I knew it would give me a rigorous and flexible background that I can build on in graduate school. Generally, chemical engineering prepares students equally well for graduate school or industry. Chemical engineering is a versatile degree that equips graduates to have a long and fruitful career in whatever they choose.
What attracted you to 10-ENG?
As a transfer student, I wanted to both graduate in a reasonable amount of time and have a broad undergraduate experience that I could refer back to for many years. Before coming to MIT, I took a year away from school to work for a solar technology startup in Silicon Valley. While there, I was exposed to many aspects of materials science and engineering. I hoped to have the opportunity to study more of the concepts I worked with in my job when I came to MIT. I was happy to learn of 10-ENG and made a quick decision to pursue it. I was attracted to the diversity of courses that could fill the requirements and was confident that I could find something to interest me; indeed, almost everything that fills the 10-ENG requirements I wanted to take!
How was your experience designing your curriculum?
I was fortunate to have an idea of which track I wanted to pursue by the time I transferred to MIT. I was glad at the breadth of classes that could fill the 10-ENG requirements and created a list of classes that interested me. I met with my 10-ENG advisor and he recommended which courses made a coherent theme. I wanted to learn about electrochemistry and gain a foundational understanding of Course 3, Materials Science and Engineering. I chose to take 3.012, 3.014, 3.07, 10.426, and 10.467 to fulfill my requirements. This combination of courses allowed me to experience Course 3 and learn about electrochemistry and energy storage technology; all while making progress toward my degree.
What are you doing now? Did 10-ENG help you with your career or personal growth?
As a graduating senior, I am in the process of deciding which graduate school I will attend next year. I will pursue energy storage technologies that I learned more about by taking classes in my 10-ENG track. 10-ENG gave me the ability to take classes that I otherwise would not have; these classes sharpened my passion for energy storage and expanded my comfort zone.
Do you think 10-ENG is beneficial for undergrads?
I think undergraduates who are interested in a range of topics or fields will benefit from the flexibility of this major. Allowing undergraduates to tailor our major to fit our interests, or to explore areas that we would not otherwise be able to lets us take an active role in our education. We, as undergraduates, still get the core of chemical engineering, 10.10, 10.213, 10.301, 10.302, and 10.37, but we can choose labs and electives to make us more well-rounded or specialized on a certain topic.