What inspired you to choose your field of study? In my junior year of high school, I read a book called "Stuff Matters" for my chemistry class. It was about the materials science of everyday materials... Read more about MSE Senior Spotlight: Meet Kelly Liu
MSE Alumni Spotlight: Meet Daksh Arora '19
Daksh Arora '19 is an MSE Alum who is currently working at Honda Aircraft Company as a Stress Engineer. Daksh talks more below about his time at Cornell and what inspired him to choose Materials Science.
Why did you choose Cornell?
Cornell Engineering master’s program is very research-driven and interdisciplinary in nature, which stood out for me when I was choosing a graduate school. The Materials Science and Engineering program is also ranked one of the best in the nation, with a focus on ground-breaking research areas to solve important real-world problems. I also found Cornell’s campus to be architecturally beautiful. In addition, the ability to do many outdoor activities such as kayaking in the Finger Lakes and hiking to a gorge in upstate New York appealed to me.
What inspired you to choose your field of study?
I was a mechanical engineering undergraduate, who enjoyed learning about mechanical design and energy systems but the current limitations on material performance intrigued me the most. After my first research stint at Johns Hopkins University, where I was exposed to a variety of materials characterization techniques and got a glimpse into nano-scale materials research, made it amply clear to me that a masters in Materials Science is what I wanted to pursue next. At Cornell, I was fortunate to work at the Donnelly Lab, where I researched the effects of type 2 diabetes on bone tissue material properties. The experience helped me build on my interdisciplinary knowledge which gave me an opportunity to work on solving an important clinical research question. It also cemented my fascination for materials science and its huge impact in the scientific world.
How are things going now?
I currently work as a Stress Engineer for Honda Aircraft Company in North Carolina. I analyze aircraft metallic and composite material structures through computational methods and mechanical testing. The projects that I work on at Honda have been challenging and have had a positive impact on my learning curve. It also gave me ample opportunities to collaborate with other departments at the company such as aerodynamics and design. I am grateful that Cornell prepared me well for solving crucial technical problems in industry through the research, rigorous courses, and mentorship that I received in my graduate studies.
What hobbies do you have in your spare time?
I like to explore new hiking trails and I am happy to be living close to the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina! I am passionate about climate politics and have recently been volunteering with climate advocacy groups in my free time. I am also an avid Settlers of Catan player and try to get my hands dirty with oil painting now and then.
Do you have any advice for current Engineering students?
My biggest advice for undergraduate engineering students is to explore and be willing to take risks in your early school years, be it an exciting course that appealed to you or an interesting research lab project that you can contribute to. This can serve as an important way to streamline your passion. Secondly, be sure to network with students from different majors that will help build a different perspective when looking at problems.
I graduated with a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell in 2019.