Engineering+ is a mindset at USC Viterbi that refers to going beyond engineering in your involvements, activities and passions. When I was applying to colleges, I was looking for ways to pursue sustainability on top of engineering. The Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in Sustainable Energy option at USC was perfect for me, and it helped me pursue sustainability in the classroom. However, I have also found many ways to dive into sustainability outside of engineering as well.
My first engineering course in sustainability was called Chemical Engineering Sustainable Energy. It took a deep dive into sustainable technology and the criteria we can use to determine whether or not a technology option is truly sustainable. I also took a writing class specifically geared towards issues in sustainability, which helped me expand on ideas I had been introduced to in my sustainable engineering course. Another sustainability focused course I took was called Sustainability Science in the City, which explored urban landscapes and sustainability’s role (or lack thereof) in their structure. Coursework is a great avenue to pursue Engineering+, and this can even entail pursuing a minor in certain subjects.
Another goal of mine was to make an impact in the sustainability space. With some of my friends in Viterbi, we entered the Minh Family Social Entrepreneurship Challenge which aims to solve the world’s wicked problems through focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. For our year, the theme was water and air quality. We designed a water filter with the goal of cleaning contaminated tap water in California’s Central Valley. I found that entrepreneurship is a great opportunity to pursue Engineering+ and bring your passions to the real world.
Whatever your Engineering+ is or what you think it might be, follow it! Pursuing sustainability in different contexts and settings was one of the most rewarding parts of my Viterbi experience.