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Founder of two student organizations powering up for graduation, professional career

Amru Qutub

For UIC student Amru Qutub, power is what gets him through the day. Qutub, a senior in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, will graduate in December, leaving behind two vibrant student organizations he founded on campus.

Qutub is the president and co-founder of Vehicle Electronics and System Engineering, or VESE, a group that aims to “expand the knowledge of students interested in vehicle electronics and systems engineering through hands on projects and close work with companies.”

The group has about 40 members, and works in collaboration with other student organizations on various mechanical projects. Their latest project? An electric formula racecar.

Currently the group has been implementing their software on radio-controlled cars, and then working on the engineering and design of the cars. He said the biggest challenges to date has been torque vectoring on the wheels, which once resolved will improve the performance of the vehicle dramatically. There are national and international competitions, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Electric and other competitions. The team hopes to compete in 2020.

While cars may seem the domain of mechanical engineers, Qutub says the club is about half mechanical engineering students and half ECE students.

“Our project requires a lot of electromechanical integration on the racecar. Motors, controllers for different parts of the system—that is all ECE,” Qutub said.

Qutub said VESE is open to new members, and meets typically on Wednesdays.

“Automotive advances in the industry are really improving now. Vehicle electronics and electromechanical systems are making a big difference for consumers,” Qutub said. “That’s where a lot of the job are. The industry is growing a lot.”

When Qutub likes to unwind, it’s with the other student club he founded, the Power Lifting Club. He started the group in his freshman year, and the team is funded by Campus Recreation. The Power Lifting Club has approximately 40 members, a dozen or so who compete.

“The Power Lifting Club is really different than VESE group I run. It’s more like a hobby,” Qutub said. “It’s been a fun time. So many people have joined, male and female.”

The team has done well in competition: in the past two years the club has been ranked first in Illinois, and third in the nation. Several of the competitors are in the top five in the nation in their respective groups.

After graduation, Qutub, who hails from Des Plaines, will work for ComEd in their high voltage transmission and substation engineering group. Qutub started with the company three summers ago, and works in their transmission engineering group.

“I’m really looking forward to starting full-time with them in January,” Qutub said.

It appears Qutub’s career is clearly off to a powerful start.