Academics Life Around Dallas Lyle School of Engineering

Beating the Heat and Learning About the World

Coming from California, I’ve been asked countless times by family and friends, “How’s the weather in Texas?” More often than not my response is, “Hot!” And yes, it is hot for the majority of the year, but you adapt quickly so the heat is nothing to fear. Lucky for SMU students, Dallas is home to many impressive museums and entertaining indoor activities for us to enjoy while beating the heat. When I have family or friends visiting and I know it’s going to be a warm day, I love to take them to the Dallas World Aquarium and the Perot Museum.

During Family Weekend of my sophomore year, I took my parents to the Dallas World Aquarium. We all expected a fairly typical aquarium experience with all the familiar aquatic life. You can imagine our surprised looks when we entered the aquarium to see two sloths dangling from a tree, a shoebill stork splashing in the water and an anteater running about its enclosure. The DWA has a collection of the six main classes of animals: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. Expect to see crocodiles, river otters, a manatee, spiders, bats, penguins and a jaguar just to name a few of the incredible animals you can find in the aquarium. Being the nerd I am, I try to go to all the info sessions the DWA offers to educate visitors on the dozens of exhibits they host. That’s probably why I’ve been there three times and one of the reasons I love having friends and family visit: it gives me an excuse to go back to learn about these amazing animals.

Another great museum for students to visit is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, perfect for those interested in biology, engineering, physics, geology and paleontology. When my girlfriend visited last spring, we decided it would be a good spot to visit and we’d be able to explore a different side of Dallas. Studying biology, she was extremely excited when we arrived at the “Discovering Life” and “Being Human” Halls. I still laugh when I think about how she’d tell me something she’d learned in class, and within thirty seconds we’d find that same fact displayed in the museum. I was just as excited when we arrived at the “Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation” Hall. As a computer science major, the engineering hall was my playground. What I love most about the Perot, is its hands-on learning experience, where guests are encouraged to interact with a majority of the displays. My favorite activity was being able to program a robot to navigate an obstacle course. And while I struggled to no end with making it to the end of that course, I had a blast learning about my field of interest.

So yes, Dallas is a hot spot. Not just in temperature, but in entertaining and educational exhibits for all to enjoy. I still plan on exploring the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Zoo when I get the chance. I can’t wait to share my experience!

Christopher Lanoie

Athletics Campus Life Lyle School of Engineering Spirit and Traditions

Wild about SMU: Family Weekend 2017

SMU Family Weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the school year! It’s always an exciting weekend filled with great company, the best food and countless laughs. I love getting the chance to show my family around the place I call my home away from home. My parents have made the trip from South Carolina to Dallas every year to participate in the festivities, even my grandmother and aunt came from Atlanta for my last Family Weekend.

One of the best parts is getting to introduce my family to some of my favorite Dallas restaurants. Since my parents have been visiting for four years now, they even have some of their own favorites! Our must-hit restaurants include Bistro 31 in Highland Park Village for lunch, Javier’s for the best Mexican food, R&D Kitchen for the most delicious hamburger, and Al Biernat’s for the best steak and coconut cream pie in Dallas. My parents always joke that all we do is eat when they visit, but that’s because Dallas has some of the best food!

I also enjoy showing my family all the great things SMU has to offer. My parents always make a point to attend the “Meet the Faculty” reception at the engineering school. This is such a great opportunity to introduce your parents to some of your professors so that they can really see what you’re learning and doing in the classroom.

And, don’t forget about the Boulevard! This is one of SMU’s greatest traditions and a must for the Family Weekend schedule. It is so much fun to walk down the Boulevard, stop at all the different tents and show your parents all of the Mustang pride before the football game. It’s also a great time to catch up with family friends. It has been great to see the friendships formed between my parents and my best friends’ parents over the years, and my parents always look forward to seeing these friends during Family Weekend.

Family Weekend is always a memorable event, and this year was no exception. The excitement on all of the families’ faces is evident, whether it’s their first time on campus or their seventh! As a senior, I’m sad to see my last Family Weekend pass, but I will always remember all of the wonderful memories made during Family Weekends past.

Perrin Griffin

Academics Careers Lyle School of Engineering

In the Midst of Internship Applications

My first and second years of college at SMU were full of new experiences and exploration of possible careers—so many opportunities, so much excitement! Now junior year has already rolled around and I find myself starting to narrow in on what I want to do with my life. Mechanical engineering and mathematics—check. Now, I am starting to narrow in on particularly what I want to do this summer. I look back to the summer after my freshman year when I had free time to explore—I studied abroad in Prague, took engineering and Russian Culture courses, and fell more in love with traveling and engineering applications. During the summer after my sophomore year, I began my search for internships.

This journey began when I joined Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and attended meetings each semester. I learned about various companies that came to speak to our organization and became an officer my sophomore year. In addition to networking with companies at SWE meetings and attending the SMU career fair, I was given the opportunity to travel with SWE to Philadelphia in September of 2016 and attended the national SWE conference. At the conference, I handed out my resume and networked with numerous companies that interested me. It was only a matter of time before I received my first interview with one of my dream companies.

Attending the national SWE conference and meeting employers on SMU’s campus connected me with many companies that I was potentially interested in working for. The process continued with personal research, emails and online applications. A blessing through the whole journey was the Hart Leadership Center—an amazing on-campus resource with a wonderful staff that helps with resumes and interning information.

I ended up accepting an internship at a biomedical engineering company the summer after my sophomore year thanks in part to attending the SMU career fair and the SWE conference. As I continue to search for my dream job this summer, I will definitely be utilizing resources on campus to help make my dream a reality.  I am also planning on attending the national SWE conference again which is being held in Austin, TX this year, not too far from home.

Emily Osman

Academics Campus Life Lyle School of Engineering

An English Major among Engineers

I can remember the first time I heard the job title “Maker.” It was from a friend who referenced a man he knew who would make custom objects for a living.

“What!?” I asked, “you can make a living off of just making random things for people?”

To say I’m a handy person is an exaggeration of my actual skill, but most of my childhood was spent playing with Legos and building popsicle stick castles with hot glue cobwebs. My inner child squirmed at the idea of taking these little projects to the next level, so I bought a sketchbook and began to doodle every idea that popped into my head. Fueled by a Pinterest inspired mania of design ideas – I know, I’m shaking my head, too – the pages quickly filled up. With more than a little disappointment, I began to realize the limitations of my ability to create; equipment and materials aren’t cheap, especially for a college student.

Fortunately, I had the Deason Innovation Gym, SMU’s proud maker space. Located in the Caruth building of the Lyle School of Engineering, the innovation gym is a place for ALL students at SMU to design and create, regardless of major. The only thing between me and a wood shop, laser cutter, multiple 3D printers, a vinyl cutter and a Carvey – Google it if you don’t know what it is; it’s really cool – was a 45-minute safety course supplemented by orientations for each piece of equipment.

My first project was for a friend who found that the peephole in his apartment was a bit too high for him to reasonably reach.

“One of my friend’s joked that he could build me a periscope,” He laughed.

“I can build you a periscope!”

It wasn’t a simple project by any means, but the trained staff at the Deason Innovation Gym was there to help. After sketching my plans on paper, I was able to use Adobe Illustrator – conveniently available to me through Fondren Library computers – to create the design for the Innovation Gym’s laser cutter. After that, a little paint, wood glue and a few mirrors were all that it took to make my design a reality, all thanks to the materials and equipment provided to my by SMU.

With such a repertoire of tools and materials at my disposal, my only problem is finding the time to bring my designs into three dimensions. Good thing the Innovation Gym is open 24/7!

Stephen Chamberlain

Lyle School of Engineering

Peruna Foosball in the Innovation Gym

Caroline GurleySMU’s Lyle School of Engineering is one of a kind. My favorite part of the Lyle School is the Innovation Gymnasium. Located in Caruth Hall, the Innovation Gym is a place for students to work as consultants for companies throughout the Dallas metroplex. This past semester, I had the opportunity to build a foosball table with other engineers as well as students in different schools around the university.  This was not a regular foosball table.  It was SMU-themed with 3D printed designs covering the table.  The players were 3D printed Perunas and the handles were Peruna tails.  We provided light to the field by incorporating LED lights around the perimeter of the field.  We built a speaker system so that anyone could play music off of a mobile device while playing foosball.  The project taught me so much about the practical applications of my engineering classes.  I learned how to communicate ideas effectively with different groups of people.  We also learned how to prioritize goals when faced with a time restraint.  Most importantly, this project allowed me to see how different engineering disciplines come together to solve problems.  This project was the highlight of my semester and I can’t wait to try another one soon!

-Caroline Gurley