Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minors: Computer Science, Physics, Math
Graduation Year: 2025
Hometown: Bethany Beach, Delaware
Q: Why did you choose to become an engineer?
Chandler: I chose mechanical engineering because I was interested in aerospace engineering. Since then, I’ve found a niche and passion in robotics and control systems.
Q: What is your favorite course in the College of Engineering?
Chandler: My favorite course so far is ELEG 205, Analog Circuits. I took the course to help expand my background in electronics, and it’s built a foundational knowledge about circuit design that I wouldn’t have been able to find somewhere else. Professor Mark Mirotznik was a great teacher and had an incredible knowledge base.
Q: Who is your favorite instructor in the College of Engineering?
Chandler: I had Professor Jenni Buckley for three semesters in a row, during Intro to Engineering, CAD, and Statics. Every interaction I had with her, I was impressed by her passion for teaching and how committed she was to making sure every student succeeded. From my perspective, her dedication to UD’s mechanical engineering department is what makes the undergraduate experience here so good.
Q: Briefly describe your summer scholar research.
Chandler: As a summer scholar, I worked under Professor Tyler Van Buren this summer, helping to develop his underwater robotics platform. The bio-inspired platform uses oscillating fins to produce thrust underwater at a high efficiency. I developed the mechatronic and robotic components that help the robot swim. It was a great experience and has led me to consider graduate school.
I have conducted research at the Delaware Space Observation Center (Summer 2022 – Fall 2023), where I worked on a Cube-Sat ground station and plasma physics experiment. As well as Van Buren’s lab (Winter 2023-Present) where I have worked on the unmanned underwater vehicle mentioned above and an experiment investigating turbulence in microgravity.
Q: What’s your favorite study location or hang-out spot on campus?
Chandler: Depending on where on campus I am, I often go to Daugherty Hall or ISE Lab to study. The stained glass, history, and proximity to main street make Daugherty a great spot for long grind sessions. The study lounges on the third and fourth floors of ISE have great late-night views and are nice and secluded, providing a great spot for group hang-out and study sessions.
Q: How has being on an esports team impacted your college experience?
Chandler: I joined the Hearthstone esports team my freshman fall and played for three seasons until taking a break last spring and this fall. I placed 3rd, 1st, and 2nd in the conference for the three semesters I played. It was a great outlet to relax and apply myself outside of school, and I’m thankful to coach Murphy Dichiaro and team captain Hunter Rosenbaum for the experience.
Q: What experiences have you had outside the classroom?
Chandler: During freshman year I co-founded a club version of Aero SAE, where we designed an RC plane that had to fulfill complex flight objectives. I designed the airplane wings and body and helped manufacture and assemble the plane.
I also participated in the Rock-Sat program from the spring of my freshman year through my sophomore year. I worked on two payloads that were launched on a NASA sounding-rocket. This program was a great hands-on experience that allowed me to work on space-bound hardware and work with real data collected from a NASA mission.
Outside of engineering, I am on the executive board and am a small group leader for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It’s been a great community to be a part of to expand and strengthen my faith in God. I’ve been a part of a bible study that meets in Redding Hall for the past three years and have been leading it for the past two. My closest friends have been made through IV and have had so many great experiences.
Q: What is your dream job?
Chandler: I’ve always dreamt of being an astronaut, but I’ll settle for NASA engineer. Jokes aside, I’ve got a strong interest in instrumentation and robotics engineering and see graduate school as a great next step to being a PI or senior engineer on large space-bound projects.
Q: What advice do you have for new students?
Chandler: Your four years in college are some of the most impactful, formative years of your life. It’s a time to try new things, explore ideas, and find meaning while you aren’t in a full-time job yet. Don’t let it go to waste, put yourself out there.