Hugo Pontes '20

Throughout high school, I started noticing the pattern that I enjoyed solving problems. Sometimes, that would be from my friends but that would also be in my classes. I also loved chemistry, and I never really enjoyed building physical things. That led me to the discovery of chemical engineering, which involved those two things and ended up being a field full of possibilities.

Why UW ChemE? The possibilities are endless. Chemical Engineering is a major that is so applicable to any industry out there. More specifically for me, it is a great path to work in biotechnology, which is my ultimate goal. ChemE is all about processes, and chemical reactions, which is something I really enjoy learning about. ChemE at UW has amazing opportunities, such as world class faculty that you can work for, as well as really supporting peers and staff.

After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Professor Pozzo started a project to investigate the health effects it had on the population of the island. More specifically, we investigated the effects the lack of power had on people who depend on power for their medical needs through interviews and the installation of solar-powered systems. As part of the project, I had the opportunity to travel to the island, and perform the interviews myself, as well as to help install the power systems. It has definitely been the most amazing experience I have had at UW!

Clean Energy Institute - Peurto Rico Project »
Engineering Peer Educator »

My advice would be to explore what ChemE has to offer, and what career you would want to pursue. ChemE has endless options, like I mentioned, but you have to make sure one of those is right for you. Talk to professors, engineers in industry, upperclassmen, join research, or come to the quarterly Chem E BBQ! Try to envision what your future would look like as a chemical engineering graduate, and work towards that goal.