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Esai Lucatero

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Why UC Merced?

Born and raised in the Central Valley, I was nervous about the idea of leaving home and attending school in a large city. When I did my initial tours of the UC campuses, I felt out of place and small, with the exception of UC Merced, which made me feel welcomed. The campus had this sense of community that reminded me of my hometown.

Why Your Major?

Science and math have always been strong suits of mine. The concepts are interesting and keep me engaged. Mechanical engineering allows me to gain more insight into the theoretical explanations of how our world works, while also applying those concepts to practical, tangible applications; and me, I think that is so cool!

Inspiration and Mentors

I’ve had a lot of inspiring figures in my life. My parents are such a pillar of support and really helped me to push through, truly cannot thank them enough. My brother has been such an inspiration with everything he’s accomplished academically and personally. My friends who have always been there to empathize with our shared struggles. Most importantly I want to thank my Grandfather. He was one of those naturally curious people that questioned everything. He was such a big part of my life and always pushed me to finish my degree. So when he passed away in 2022, it hit me hard. To say I was devastated would be an understatement, but it gave me more motivation to push through my degree, no matter how difficult it became.

Memorable Academic Experience

One of the most memorable academic experiences was one of my smaller moments. It was just after my Spring 2023 semester and I received an email from one of my professors, offering me a position as an undergraduate researcher in their lab. It was a moment that took me by surprise and made me feel this overwhelming sense of accomplishment, knowing that someone so knowledgeable believed I had the ability to apply myself in a more demanding academic setting.

What's Next?

After graduation, I plan to take the fundamentals of engineering exam, so that I can work towards my goal of becoming a licensed engineer. I also plan to apply for a graduate program for the fall of 2025, in hopes of obtaining my master's in either mechanical or aerospace engineering, with an emphasis on fluid mechanics.

Semester Year: