Engineering Departments

Meet the Mentors

Sarajin (Nora) Ali   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering; green engineering minor
3rd
Alexandria, Virginia and Chittagong, Bangladesh
Dominion Transmission, Inc., Clarksburg, West Virginia, summer 2013, engineering projects intern; Raytheon Telemus, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia, summer 2012, front office intern
Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (summer 2012); Student Engineers Abroad Council (SEAC); Distance Learning, undergraduate assistant; Formula SAE Team
Interned at Dominion Transmission, Inc.
The community and the food
Time management is the key to success and doing well in anything. Also, developing groups of people to study with early on in the semester.
Ahmed Aly   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
4th
Cairo, Egypt
Boeing, St. Louis, Missouri, summer 2014, project engineer
Alpha Tau Omega (ATO); VT Motorsports; Formula SAE; Egypt Friends; American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Interned in St. Louis
The sense of community and the Hokie Pride. Plus the food is great!
It might be intimidating, but don't be afraid to go out and meet new people. It will shock you how much in common you might have with them.
Jose Anhalzer   (AHORA)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Industrial and systems engineering; green engineering minor
2nd
Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador
Galipatia community; intramural soccer
Backpacked over Ecuador; learned how to use various software through lynda.com; gained experience in the industrial engineering field through an internship
The community and the college atmosphere
I wish I knew the amount of opportunities that VT offers for my student experience and professional future.
Mariah Arndorfer   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Computer engineering; computer science and math minor
4th
Gainesville, Virginia
BIT Systems, Dulles, Virginia, summer 2013 and 2014, engineering intern
Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity; Filipino American Student Association (FASA); intramural sports
Interned with BIT Systems and possibly taking a trip to Iowa to visit family
How friendly everyone is!
I wish I had taken advantage of office hours. They're a great resource, especially if you are unsure about anything in class.
Jyssica Baehr   (WEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Electrical engineering
3rd
Venetia, Pennsylvania
Hypatia
Interned at Cherry Point, North Carolina as a flight readiness center intern
Hokie spirit
I wish I would have known how willing professors are to help their students learn and succeed.
I was a mentor in Hypatia last year and am excited to be a peer mentor in fall 2014.
Kelly Bennett   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Industrial and systems engineering
3rd
Williamsburg, Virginia
Rockwell Automation, Richmond, Virginia, summer 2013; sales engineering intern; Tyges International, Williamsburg, Virginia, summer 2012; engineering intern
Delta Gamma
Worked at Rockwell Automation and enjoyed all of the nice weather!
Tight knit community
I wish I knew how to approach companies at the career fair - what to say, wear, what questions to ask, and what to bring!
Dylan Burnette   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Industrial and systems engineering
2nd
Chester, Virginia
Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)
Hiking
The greatest thing about college is that there is always someone smarter than you. Take advantage of that.
Desmond Claytor   (BEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
4th
Richmond, Virginia
Toyota Bodine Aluminum, Jackson, Tennessee, summer 2014, powertrain/casting engineering co-op; Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Georgetown, Kentucky, summer/fall 2013, stamping production engineering co-op
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): Caribbean Student Organization (CaribSO)
Gained more work experience by completing a second co-op term with Toyota.
The food and community
It is important to join engineering organizations early and get a good support system behind you.
Thomas (Tommy) Cook   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
3rd
Chesapeake, Virginia
Student Engineers' Council (SEC); intramural sports; College Republicans
Hoped to get an internship at Norfolk Naval Shipyard
The bond between everyone who goes here
In larger classes going to office hours is important to just meet your professor and to also ask for additional help if needed.
Daniel (Danny) Facchina   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mining and minerals engineering; green engineering minor
2nd
Glenwood, Maryland
Newman Community; Recreational Sports
Interned with Buch Construction
The people
I wish I would have known that teachers want students to come to office hours to ask for help on material they do not understand.
Megan Goodman   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering; business and chemistry minors
2nd
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Calgon Carbon Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, summer 2014, industrial and food carbon unit intern
VT Honors College; Society of Women Engineers (SWE), intramural sports
Worked as an intern at Calgon Carbon Corporation, enjoyed the warm weather, and took a trip to the beach!
Being part of the Hokie community
The key to being a successful engineer is learning to work with and get help from your peers; they are your most valuable tool.
Ryan Grove   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering; green engineering minor
3rd
Avondale, Pennsylvania
Amtrak, Bear, Delaware, summer 2014, train maintenance intern
Intramural sports (volleyball, wallyball, and soccer); undergraduate research; Gamma Beta Phi (collegiate honors society)
Worked at Amtrak and golf course
Volleyball in Lee Quad
Look at Koofers to check how your teachers will be before class.
Justin Halper   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Industrial and systems engineering; business minor
2nd
Vienna, Virginia
Main Street Child Development, Fairfax, Virginia, fall 2012 - summer 2013, mentor; Fairfax County Election Committee, Fairfax, Virginia, summer 2012, data collection intern
VT Club Ski Team; 3.2 for 32; intramural sports (flag football, dodge ball, basketball)
Took summer classes, had fun at the beach, worked, ran, and played basketball.
The amazing sense of community and football games!
Be yourself. Everyone is in the same boat at the beginning of the year, and everyone is looking to make friends.
Louis (Bobby) Hollingsworth   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering
2nd
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, summer 2014, research intern; George Washington University, Washington, DC, summer 2013, bioengineering intern
Chem-E-Car Team; Gandour Research Group; TEK Robotics; International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE); American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE); Collegiate Nanotechnology Society (CNS); intramural soccer
Interned at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland as a research intern in a structural biology lab of the National Cancer Institute.
The people at VT are very down to earth and incredibly kind. I feel at home here!
To immediately seek out opportunities, and do not let "first-year" status stand in the way.
Linda Kim   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
2nd
Gainesville, Virginia
VT Baja SAE; Filipino American Student Association (FASA); Women's Chorus
Took a summer class and enjoyed relaxing and catching up on sleep!
Hokie spirit and tight-knit sense of community
It is extremely helpful to form a good study group in the beginning of the semester! Also, take advantage of all the opportunities and resources you have on campus, especially office hours. Lastly, get involved!
Weston (Lane) Kiser   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering; green engineering minor
2nd
Greensboro, North Carolina
Volvo, Dublin, Virginia, summer 2014, process improvement intern
Epsilon Hexaton chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity (PSK); VT chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE); Alpha Chi Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon (OXE); Hokie Camp counselor with VT New Student and Family Programs (NSFP); VT recreation sports; The Big Event; Relay for Life; Hokie Helpers; Newman Catholic Community
Summer internship at Volvo Trucks in Dublin, Virginia. Stayed in Blacksburg - woo!
School pride
One test does not define you or your time at VT.
Corrine (Corie) Kramer   (WEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering
3rd
Avondale, Pennsylvania
W.L. Gore & Associates, Elkton, Maryland, summer 2013 (lab technician) and summer 2014 (new product development-medical division intern)
VT Outdoor Club; Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society; Hypatia Living-Learning Community (freshman year); intramural soccer; Active Group-X Fitness participant
Worked as an intern at W.L. Gore & Associates in the medical products divison. In my free time, I went sailing on the Chesapeake Bay!
I love the food! My favorite place is Farms and Fields at Owens - I go there every day!
One thing I wish I had known as a first-year engineering student is how important it is to establish relationships with your professors. They come in handy as references for scholarship and job applications!
Khelsey Lemon   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Civil and environmental engineering
4th
Richmond, Virginia
Timmons Group, Richmond, Virginia, summer 2013 and 2014, stormwater management intern, private land development intern
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE); American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Worked at Timmons and vacationed in New Orleans
The fun-loving and community atmosphere
As a first-year engineering student, I wish I had known how useful it is to personally meet professors and use office hours.
Zoya Mahajan   (WEST)
Biological systems engineering; medicine and society, chemistry minors
2nd
Ashburn, Virginia
Society of Women Engineers (SWE); Hokie Camp counselor; National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS); VT Modeling
Interned with an optometrist at Eye and Vision Care and volunteered at the hospital. In addition, I will be a Hokie Camp counselor for incoming Hokies and will be going to Australia for two weeks!
The fact that everyone smiles and everyone opens the door for you.
I wish I had known that studying gets a lot harder. I've always been the kind of person to study a lot but the way you study in college is a lot different. It's necessary to do practice test after practice test in order to get as much practice as possible.
I just can't wait until I can meet my mentees so that I can show them the VT that I love so much and make them love it just as much as I do! Also, I am obsessed with Twix.
Alan Moore   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Civil and environmental engineering
3rd
Dayton, Virginia
PCL, New Haven, Connecticut, summer 2014, bridget construction intern; Ulliman Schutte Construction, spring 2014, co-op
FarmHouse Fraternity (FH); American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); intramural sports
Worked for PCL on a 10-lane, $500 million bridge in New Haven, Connecticut. On the weekends, I did some fishing and cheered on the USA during the World Cup.
Tailgating
Make friends and have fun.
I like long walks on the beach and playing my guitar while watching the sun set. I am a connoisseur of fine cheeses and like to volunteer my time at local animal shelters. I do not have a Pinterest and am a sucker for knock-knock jokes.
Lauren Nickel   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering
2nd
Boones Mill, Virginia
Hypatia; College Republicans; campus band
Took summer classes at my community college, spent time in Myrtle Beach, and slept in as often as possible. I also worked part-time and spent time volunteering with the children at my church.
The sense of community and family that we have here. Everyone goes out of their way to help each other, and it's incredible to see and be a part of.
I wish I would have known how important it is to get involved, meet new people, and embrace the opportunities that come with being a freshman.
I love to talk so don't be shy!
Katherine (Katie) Pair   (GUEST)
Mining and minerals engineering
4th
Brentwood, Tennessee
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Nasvhille, Tennessee, summer 2013, design and construction engineer
Burkhart Mining Society; Women in Mining (WIM)
Interned a second summer with HCA as a design and construction intern
The sense of community and being part of the Hokie nation!
Office hours are so important if you want to do well in a class and professors are always there to help!
Jonathan (Jon) Pisaro   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
2nd
Oakton, Virginia
MITRE, McLean, Virginia, summer 2014, aviation system development intern; Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, DC, summer 2012, engineering branch intern
The Big Event; intramural basketball and wallyball
Worked, played some golf, and relaxed in the sand
Food and football game days
Don't be intimidated or scared of a college work load, be confident in your abilities that you got here.
Anne Richards   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering; computer science minor
2nd
Leesburg, Virginia
REHAU Incorporated, Leesburg, Virginia, summer 2014, chemistry research intern
Student Engineers' Council (SEC); Pi Beta Phi Sorority; Honors Residential College; Baja SAE; Women's Choir
Completed an internship at a plastic company in Northern Virginia and took an online math class.
The inclusive community that embodies Hokie spirit
Make as many study buddies as possible!
Nicholas (Nick) Rouse   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Chemical engineering
2nd
Chesapeake, Virginia
Lockheed Martin, Suffolk, Virginia, summer 2013, engineering consultant; BAE Systems, Chesapeake, Virginia, summer 2012, communications analyst
American Nuclear Society (VT-ANS)
Settled down at my family's new home while working at a local establishment prior to returning to VT. I hope to head back to Virginia Beach and catch up with friends back in my hometown.
The strong sense of community that Hokies have fostered over a century of growth and commitment. It truly defines the spirit of Virginia Tech and unites the student body in a sea of maroon and orange.
I wish that I had been aware of groups or other opportunities that were directly associated with the department of my intended engineering major so that I could get involved with the department early and become familiar with the tasks associated with the major.
Kindell Schmitt   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Biological systems engineering, biomedical engineering minor
3rd
Clemmons, South Carolina
Wake Forest University - Mohs Biomedical Imaging and Nanotechnology Group (M-BING), Winston-Salem, North Carolina, summer 2014, researcher; Virginia Bioinformatics Institute - Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Lab (NIMML), Blacksburg, Virginia, spring 2014, Undergraduate Scholars Program, intern
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE); Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Society; Tau Beta Pi; Club Tennis; International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering; Dean's Team; Newman Community; intramural volleyball, tennis, softball, and basketball; Residential Leadership Community (RLC)
Worked on a research project at Wake Forest University in the Mohs Biomedical Imaging and Nanotechnology Lab.
The sense of community!
Put yourself out there and get involved in something you are passionate about!
Nicole Sgrignoli   (WEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
2nd
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Society of Women Engineers (SWE); National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS); Hypatia Living-Learning Community
Worked at Hollywood Casino and tutored kids in summer school
Football games and the people here!
Professors aren't as scary as they seem when you're sitting in a huge lecture hall. Office hours are important, and they are more than willing to help you if you take the step to go see them.
Rahul Sharma   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
3rd
Chesterfield, Virginia
VT Ultimate Frisbee Team; intramural sports, including indoor soccer, flag football, and ultimate frisbee.
I was a product engineering intern at Amsted Rail Brenco. I watched the 2014 FIFA world cup. Made lots of visits to Kings Dominion and spent a weekend at Myrtle Beach.
VT's football entrance to "Enter Sandman"
The key to doing well with classes is forming a study group with friends who share the same passion for engineering that you do.
I was part of CEED when I entered college my freshman year. CEED is an amazing program, and it definitely helped make my transition from high school to college a lot easier.
Lucas Smith   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Mechanical engineering
3rd
Leesburg, Virginia
VT golf course (employment); Sinking Creek Four-Wheel Drive Association (SC4WDA); CEED peer mentor
Worked, spent time with family, and went fishing
The people! There are so many people to meet and connections to make.
Don't get wrapped up in grades. The most important thing about being here is the knowledge you gain.
I plan to focus on automotive engineering.
Connor Sullivan   (GUEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Computer science; mathematics minor
3rd
Fairfax, Virginia
Lockheed Martin, Manassas, Virginia, summer 2014, software engineering intern
Resident Advisor (RA) - Lee Hall (Galileo); Dean's Leadership Team (DLC) - College of Science; Math Club
Worked at my internship, worked out, chilled, and hung out!
Blacksburg is a great place - the environment and people are amazing (plus the food)!
Find a place where you can power out on homework or for studying when needed ... and use it!
Let's Go! ... Hokies!
Moriah Viviano   (WEST)
College of Engineering at Virginia Tech
Industrial and systems engineering; business minor
2nd
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Kappa Delta Epsilon Pi; intramural volleyball; Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Enjoyed my last summer at home by doing things completely new to me - waiting tables at a well-known restaurant and traveling to Hawaii for a family vacation!
Waking up everyday to a clear, blue sky (unlike the constant grey one in Pittsburgh)
To stop worrying about being a "freshman," and instead, completely embrace my first year at VT and meet as many people as possible.
Engineering can be tough, but as long as you make friends along the way in your field, it is a lot of fun!
Urban (Samuel) Withers   (GUEST)
Biological systems engineering; green engineering minor
2nd
Asheville, North Carolina
Engineers Without Borders (EWB); YMCA one-on-one tutor; intramural ultimate frisbee and softball; volunteer at Kentland Farms; campus band; Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (RSAP); Presidential Global Scholars (PGS)
I took a two-week journey across Germany, Switzerland, and Italy with 23 fellow engineering students. After my return, I took classes at a community college near my home while looking for a job for the summer.
VT has it all: Music, math, hiking, art, science, athletics, camping, poetry, research, and most of all, friendship.
I wish that I would have known to go to class before I bought all of my books.
I love things that are different. I come from Asheville, North Carolina, where hippies and businessmen walk hand-in-hand on the street. I like music and good food. I lived on a farm, but I'm a city boy. I guess you could I'm pretty hip(ster), and I am very excited to meet all of you!