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Sergio Mendiola

Materials Science and Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering

Why UC Merced?

It's a UC experience that's close to home with many available internship and undergraduate research opportunities.

Why Your Major?

Materials are the fundamental resource that every other applied engineering practice relies upon. Civil engineers, electrical engineers, bioengineers, and others use materials because they have specific properties that they want to take advantage of. Thus, materials engineers will always be needed. They understand what structures give what properties and what processes give what structures. The need for continued progress in materials understanding is what made me choose materials engineering.

Inspiration and Mentors

Professor Leppert has been a key figure in the last few years of my education. Doing undergraduate research with her helped me apply skills that I had learned in previous courses, and it made my lab practices more refined. I can't put into words how much her electron microscopy course and materials characterization course put into perspective the amount of detail and work that goes into understanding what gives a material its properties.

Professor Viney is another inspiration. He has a lecturing style that dives deeper, on an intuitive level, than most textbooks can go. His lectures are unique and help students understand the thermodynamic and kinetic implications of materials processing. He's also quite the charismatic man - I look forward to learning guitar with him if he still wishes to.

Memorable Academic Experience

Capstone was, and is, a great way of getting students familiar with industrial applications of their knowledge. Working with Innovate to Grow taught me the importance of planning, communication, and problem-solving on a level that no other course could.

A special thanks to Stefano Foresti, Christine Gemperle, Arnold Craig, Tim Lohman, and my team members Brian John Virtucio, Alejandro Lailson, and Yuriana Medina-Fernandez.

What's Next?

I'll get some more lab experience and hopefully start working in the industry. I'd like to get involved in semiconductor fabrication - even if it's just on the line.

Anything else?

Thank you. Simon, Abby, Danny, Neil - I won't forget you guys.

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