Master's Profile: Carlos Chávez
Current Position: Product Development Engineer at Honeywell (Los Angeles area, California)
Undergraduate: BS in Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Simón Bolívar (Venezuela)
Duke MEMS Path: THRUST Masters of Engineering (MEng) Program (Aeroelasticity core), 2013
What do you do at your job?
I am a product design engineer at Honeywell. I am responsible for the mechanical integration of the new generation of turbochargers in passenger vehicles. Specifically, I am in charge of managing the aerodynamics performance, designing for vibration and controlling the thermal signature of the turbocharger.
How did your time at Duke prepare you for your current job?
The university provides to its students with a large variety of state-of-the-art resources to prepare them for the professional environment on the industry. While at Duke, I was able to sharpen both my technical and soft skills by using these resources which allowed me to be more competitive and to have a more rounded professional profile.
What was the most valuable part of your Duke experience?
I think the most valuable part of my Duke experience was the ability to network with the world-class professors at the university. Having the opportunity to interact with them enabled me toget in touch with a variety of different people and companies, and from there I was able to build a rapport with professionals and companies in my field,which ultimately resulted in Honeywell hiring me.
What were the most useful classes you took at Duke?
I tend to think that all the classes offered through the MEMS master's program help you develop important skill sets to better prepare students to enter the industrial world, so I would say that all of them were quite useful in unique ways. However, based on my current professional opportunity I would say the course of Advanced Mechanical Vibrations with Robert Kielb was incredibly important, as it provided me with a lot of relevant experience that I've used at my current position.
What advice would you give to someone considering a master's degree in MEMS at Duke?
Study hard, and do your best to get all the best knowledge and networking you can, but also make the most out of your time at Duke. Time goes by rather quickly when you are doing your master's studies. Duke offers so many different opportunities for students to take advantage of, both academically and socially, and you'll want to take the time to enjoy them all.
Why did you choose Duke for your Master of Engineering (MEng) degree?
Duke is one of the best universities in the United States. The quality of the professors teaching at Duke is absolutely fantastic, and I wanted to be a part of that family. It definitely involves a lot of hard work, but the rewards down the road in the professional life are, without any doubt, absolutely worth it.