Jashan - Design Team Lead for CU Boulder's Puerto Rico CECorps Team

A little about yourself – name, geography, anything you’re comfortable with.

I’m currently an aerospace engineering student at the University of Colorado Boulder, graduating in May 2021. I joined CU’s Engineers without Borders team two years ago, and I’m now the design team lead for our project in Mulas, Puerto Rico.

What skills and perspectives can you share with this community that are appropriate and could add value?

As one of the project managers that started this Puerto Rico team, I’m hoping to share knowledge about starting small projects and finding a strong balance between team dynamics, supporting the community, and actual project work. I also hope to be an example of how any student, regardless of skill set, can make a difference on a community project like ours!

What would you like to learn most from this community?

As an aerospace engineer, I’m hoping to learn directly from engineering professionals like @joshua on the best practices for designing small scale water systems. Our team will run into a number of challenges, and we would love the support of anyone interested to helping our team learn and grow!

What is the next step on your professional journey? Learning more? Doing more? Please share with us!

Systems engineering, team based project dynamics, and teaching are all important for any engineer. I hope to apply the broad skills I’ve learned from CECorp into my professional work in the aerospace industry, and also help train the next batch of students with a global engineering mindset.

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Thank you for the introduction, @Jashan, and thanks for helping to kick-off discussion!

Did you face any concerns early-on in your volunteering, based-on your background or area of academic focus? If so, what did you do to overcome those concerns?

Your perspectives on the importance of teaching, and the importance of the engineering mindset being global, both speak loudly to me; what do you feel is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your volunteer work?

Early on I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to add, as I’m sure many members are. The reality is that everyone is simultaneously learning together. I think it helps a lot to express to new members that none of us are experts at this stuff which makes it easier to get involved.

I think the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is the value of having multiple perspectives. It’s great to a have a wide variety of team members because when we are learning new stuff everyone will have a different approach and that makes us all better overall. Similarly, it’s beneficial to see how engineers from all over the place approach problems, for example the community members of Mulas building their water filtration system.

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