Meet Jacob

Chemical Engineering, ’21
Oceanside, CA

Hey, welcome to my page!

My name’s Jacob, and I’m a junior studying Chemical Engineering from Oceanside, California. Here at USC, I serve as VP Academic of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and Co-President of the Latino Alumni Association (LAA) Scholar Committee, through which I help to plan different academic and service oriented events. I’m also a member of the Sharada Research Lab where I use computational chemistry to study synthetic catalysts. For fun, I love to play guitar, go hiking, and watch movies with friends.
If you’d like to hear more about my experience living my #ViterbiLife, keep reading below!

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USC’s branch of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers is a great resource to take advantage of, with opportunities ranging from research seminars to company info sessions to our Design Challenge. Being involved since my freshman year, AIChE has been a wealth of resources for me. Serving as VP Academic has given me plenty of experience working with my fellow board members and planning events, and has been a great way for me to give back to the Chem-E community.

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Latino Alumni Association Scholar Committee

Through USC’s Latino Alumni Association Scholar Committee, I work with my fellow scholars to plan social, community service, and academic events for USC’s Latino community, such as feeding the homeless and hosting middle school students to visit USC. I currently serve as Co-President of the committee, and have helped plan a variety of events over the semesters, including our Alumni Mentorship program and Service Days. In addition, our Game Nights, Football Viewing Parties, and other social events support bonding and community with the scholars. Being involved with the LAA provides a nice alternative to my STEM extracurriculars, as I’m able to interact with individuals in a nonacademic setting, and meet new people.

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Being in the Sharada Research Lab has been a great experience for me. My work in particular involves using IQmol and Q-Chem, molecular modeling and quantum chemistry software packages, to run simulations and determine the properties of potential catalytic systems. One application of this work is to aid in the identification of molecules as possible candidates in the development of synthetic catalysts for the conversion of methane to methanol, which would be of great benefit to the energy industry. By working in the lab, I’ve gained insight into how chemical engineering research is performed, and learned to always seek out help when you don’t understand something!

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Viterbi students get involved in all types of organizations! From design teams to entrepreneurship groups, there’s a place for everyone. Read about more organizations by clicking the button below!

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My Major: Chemical Engineering

How did I pick my major?

People oftentimes think chemical engineers do nothing but use chemistry, but in reality, we’re much more diverse than that. In few other engineering disciplines will you find all the classic sciences of physics, chemistry, and biology, along with math, playing such a fundamental role. Due to its broad nature and variety of applications, chemical engineering was the best way for me to continue studying science, but more importantly, learn to apply it in engineering solutions to real-world problems.

My Favorite Classes

CHE 120 is the intro class all freshmen take when starting their chemical engineering education. It provides a great overview into the entire field of chemical engineering, and introduces some great problem solving skills and key fundamental concepts, including material and energy balances. It’s also taught by Professor Ted Lee, one of the funniest and most engaging professors I’ve yet to have!

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My #ViterbiLife

This is my #ViterbiLife

Favorite LA Spots

I love movies and I love theme parks, so Universal Studios is the perfect combo. It’s also not particularly far from campus, and lets me live out my fantasies of being a Hogwarts student!

My Netflix Obsessions

  • I know it’s a bit old for our generation, but Seinfeld is one of my favorite TV shows ever. The antics and conversations of Jerry and the gang never get old, and it’s the perfect thing to watch whenever you need to unwind after a long day, or just want a quick laugh!

  • Breaking Bad is a show about consequences, as it tells the story of a simple man driven to desperation. What starts as a noble cause to provide for his family after learning he has terminal cancer soon becomes a descent into darkness for Walter White. It’s a chilling tale of morality, and has some of the greatest acting and character development on television.

Favorite USC Tradition

My favorite USC tradition is Game Days. Everyone knows how important football is to the Trojan family, but there are no words to quite describe the feeling of walking through campus on your way to the Coliseum, and seeing a sea of students, friends, family, and alumni dressed in cardinal and gold, on their way to support our team.

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I would love to help you better understand my experience at USC. If you have any questions or need more information about anything, please fill out the form below and I will get back to you!

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