Experimenting with Chemical Engineering

Ashley Tong ‘22, Texas A&M University

My major is Chemical Engineering (or ChemE). ChemE combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to design and make everything from medicines, fuel, car products, skincare products, makeup, and agricultural supplements. 

Choosing ChemE

I chose my major because I really enjoyed general chemistry and was really good at it. I took AP Chemistry in high school and I realized my love for the subject. But I knew I wanted to be in engineering, so I thought ChemE would be the best fit for me.

Friends in my major

I am friends with people in the same major, and what they like the most about ChemE is that our program is so small that we all know and recognize one another. We can help each other out, which is great

Career paths

There are so many career paths with chemical engineering. You can go to medical school, venture into the business side and do something like supply chain, or you can do process engineering, which is like industrial product design. 

I hope to be able to start my own company one day where I create my own makeup. Until then, I want to work with an engineering firm, preferably not in the oil and gas industry.

Tips for future majors

Do your research and keep an open mind. Don’t just go into a major for the money – pick something you would think you would actually like, even if it means taking a more unconventional path.

The Architecture of Tech: Computer Engineering

I go to Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, California, and my major is computer engineering. Computer engineering consists of creating hardware solutions and perform programming to enhance them. In computer engineering, electronic engineering and computer science combine to teach the design of various technological devices. During my childhood I was really curious about a computer’s architecture. My passion for it really influenced my decision to choose the major of computer engineering.

Favorite class

My favorite class that I’ve taken within my major is C# programming. I really enjoyed this class because it incorporates the foundations of programming, but is still fun since you can incorporate your own creativity in the programs you create.

Friends in my major

I do have quite a few friends that are in the same major as me. A lot of my friends enjoy the creation of hardware, which is the bulk part of my major. Some people also study newer concepts like artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

My goals

With my major, I hope to create a program that will be a part of a big tech project one day, and make a valuable impact on the consumers. My main career goal is to get involved with artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Career paths

Some possible career paths for anyone taking computer engineering can be:

  • artificial intelligence and virtual reality
  • computer hardware (building computers)
  • software engineering (writing code to develop software programs)
  • machine intelligence

Common misconceptions

A lot of people think that engineering majors focus heavily on just the basics of engineering. However, there’s actually a lot of room for creativity and innovation.

Tips for future majors

Make sure to do your own projects to find your interest in engineering. You might get a little bored because there’s a lot of theoretical knowledge and learning. Just know that there are many advances constantly going on within the field, probably some that you haven’t even heard of yet. Everyone has their own niche and passion in engineering, you just have to search for it.

Similar majors

Some related majors to computer engineering are electrical engineering which is the study of devices that use electricity, software engineering which applies core engineering principles to software development, and computer science which is the study of computers and their applications.