Undergraduate Student Profiles

Fabian Torres

Fabian T.

Computer Engineering, BS ’21 | Oak Lawn, IL

Why did you choose UIC? I wanted to experience a top-notch engineering program in the heart of my favorite city, Chicago.

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: I think UIC’s sense of family and camaraderie is amazing. It takes time, but once you make good connections with friends and faculty, you’ll see that they really want you to do your best, take away valuable skills, and make life-long relationships. It really is the people that make UIC what it is.

Dream job: Software engineer

Engineering project/assignment you did that you’re most proud of: I was pretty happy when I got my Conway’s Game of Life project working in CS 107 because I always wanted to learn how to code. With CS 107 being my introductory level C-coding class, I was able to go from knowing little to nothing in coding concepts to building an entire working program from scratch.

Claire Chappee

Claire C.

Computer Engineering, BS ’21 | St. Louis, MO

Why did you choose UIC? I chose UIC Engineering because of the amazing opportunities that both the school and the city had to offer me. UIC Engineering really wants its students to succeed, and it shows.

What is the most valuable student organization you’ve joined, and why? The Society of Women Engineers has become my personal support group over the past two years. The companies they invite to campus help me understand what life after college will be like, and their outreach programs help me inspire young girls to pursue a degree in a STEM field.

Dream job: Astronaut

What do you hope to be doing right after graduation? I hope to be traveling the U.S. National Parks right before I start my full-time position at an amazing company.

Words of wisdom: Take time to discover your passion and pursue it with your greatest effort.

Rahaan Gandhi

Rahaan G.

Computer Engineering, BS ’21 | Mumbai, India

Student organizations you’ve joined: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Astronomy Club, Linux Users Group

Favorite thing about the department you’re majoring in: Vahe Caliskan is one of the best professors. He is approachable outside of class as well as available online. He encourages students to ask questions and inspires them to work harder in class with his stories and humor.

Engineering project/assignment you did that you’re most proud of: Built a VR application that tracks movements of the hand using Leap Motion sensor and the Oculus Rift. The purpose of this application was to allow one to workout in an active and interactive environment without the need to travel.

How is the College of Engineering preparing you for the working world? The Engineering Career Center has weekly programs that help students with their interview and real-world skills and also will review their resumes.

Moises Aragon

Moises A.

Electrical Engineering, BS ’21 | Schaumburg, IL

Why did you choose UIC College of Engineering: Because I heard the program was great and very affordable.

Would you recommend the College of Engineering to new applicants? If so, why? Yes. Even though [the program] might be difficult, UIC provides a lot of help to its students.

Favorite thing about the department you’re majoring in: The professors, especially Vahe Caliskan and Kimberly Fitzgerald!

Which was the most valuable internship or lab experience you’ve had, and how did it help you? Exelon. It helped me by showing me how the nuclear industry works.

What do you hope to do right after graduation? Travel to Spain and get a job quickly.

Tatiana Carbajal

Tatiana C.

Electrical Engineering, BS ’21 | Chicago, IL

Favorite course: ECE 115 Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering

Engineering project/assignment you did that you’re most proud of: In CS 107 I made a bingo game using C. I am most proud of it because I still use it to date, and I made it a year ago.

What is the most valuable student organization you’ve joined, and why? Becoming a part of SHPE, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, has been incredibly valuable! I attended two of their conferences, both of which were enlightening. They also provide a fantastic network, unique experiences, and the opportunity to give back to the community by teaching younger generations about engineering.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus, and why: If anyone is every looking for me, they know to check MERRP. I love MERRP because it provides a home away from home. It is a study space for engineering students that provides tutoring and is also where most of the executive boards of engineering organizations spend their time. It is a place where people look out for one another, because it is hard to obtain an engineering degree. I cannot imagine my time at UIC without having MERRP!

Justin Lau

Justin L.

Computer Engineering, BS ’21 | Guangdong, China

Why did you choose UIC? I chose UIC because of my interest in computer hardware design. I am hoping to make some changes in the world with inventions and solutions that affect everyone’s lives.

Which was the most valuable internship or lab experience you’ve had, and how did it help you? The most valuable lab experience I’ve had was a lab where we built a circuit for the simulation of a traffic light. It connected my class to real-life problems, and I also learned how to work better with my teammates.

Engineering-industry person you admire most and why: Kevin Lynch, because he was also a UIC attendee. He led the Apple Watch software development team.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus, and why: Science Engineering Laboratory and Student Center East. I like to work and study at the lab buildings and hang out with friends or grab some food at SCE.

Jeraldine Milla

Jeraldine M.

Computer Engineering, BS ’22 | Phillippines

Would you recommend the College of Engineering to new applicants? If so, why? Yes, because they will be able to feel at home regardless of where they come from. Not only that, there are so many opportunities that UIC offers that would definitely make each student’s stay at UIC worth it.

Dream job: Probably connected to entertainment, but as an engineer.

How is the College of Engineering preparing you for the working world? They offer a lot of career fair opportunities, have helped me develop my résumé, offer challenging classes, and many other things that will help me in the real world.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus, and why: The library, where my friends and I always study and eat. It’s where I met my friends. A place to learn but also a place for great encounters with different, wonderful people.

Ryn Stewart

Ryn S.

Computer Engineering, BS ’21 | Crystal Lake, IL

Why did you choose UIC? Because of the resources that both UIC and the city provide.

Favorite course: CS 151 Mathematical Foundations of Computing. It’s taught well and helps you to grasp the logic of programming.

Words of wisdom: Don’t let anyone tell you what you are or are not capable of.

Engineering-industry person you admire most and why: Grace Hopper. She paved the way for women in STEM with vital contributions to the field of computer science.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus, and why: Makerspace or the computer science lounge. I work at the Makerspace, and I try to find people to work with on projects in the CS lounge.

Marcos Araque

Marcos A.

Electrical Engineering, BS ’20 | Chicago (Humboldt Park)

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: Offering resources for people of different cultures and backgrounds, as UIC has a huge diversity on campus.

Favorite thing about the department you’re majoring in: I am currently doing research in the Lab for Energy and Switching-Electronics. It is cool to have access to a variety of different equipment and tools to use for my research.

Engineering project/assignment you did that you’re most proud of: My current research assignment related to power electronics has been an ongoing project for over a year. The project involves controlling Power MOSFET transience (switching) to reduce switching power losses through an active gate control system.

Internships you’ve held: I was an intern at the Fermilab Nanoengineering Research Lab through UIC Engineering’s Guaranteed Paid Internship Program.

Muhammad Shaikh

Muhammad S.

Electrical Engineering, BS ’21 | Pakistan

Dream job: Energy scientist

Name one thing you think UIC does better than anywhere else: You can socialize and interact with people from more than 10 countries in a single day by walking around campus.

What do you hope to be doing right after graduation? Graduate study in energy engineering.

How is the College of Engineering preparing you for the working world? By getting to know more about how I can use my degree in the outside world, and by interacting with professors and learning about their research.

Damien Gilbert

Damien G.

Electrical Engineering, BS ’20 | Sugar Grove, IL

Engineering project/assignment you did that you’re most proud of: Definitely my current project through senior design with my team. We are building a 3D scanner utilizing planar positioning movement and a LIDAR sensor. It’s been months of planning and seeing it come to fruition feels amazing. It’s ambitious, but that’s what make me proud. Even if we fail to realize it completely, what we’ve learned in the process makes up for it.

What is the most valuable student organization you’ve joined, and why? Being a part of UIC’s Engineering Design Team (EDT) has been a rewarding adventure. We build robots for competition and learn a lot about fabrication and testing, plus everyone is friendly and we have a great time when we are not working.

Dream job: Control systems engineer

How is the College of Engineering preparing you for the working world? The College of Engineering hosts many mock-interview sessions and career fairs that give students an excellent chance to meet employers. They also have a full staff at the Engineering Career Center who are there to help you prepare for the next step.

Place you’re most likely to be found on campus, and why: The EDT shop located inside the Roosevelt building. It’s quiet, spacious, and everyone from EDT lounges around there when not in class.