Rising senior Patrick Ehland, a mechanical engineering major from Pittsburgh, Pa., answers a few questions about student life at Carnegie Mellon, his internship experience, what he's excited for this semester, why he chose his major, and what he likes about Pittsburgh.
1. What do you enjoy about campus life?
The people. CMU has so many interesting and great people to talk to. You can talk about athletics one time and then about Elon Musk's crazy new ideas the next day. You get to have a mix of conversations with a wide variety of people.
2. What do you get involved in outside of basketball?
Special Olympics. I've now been on the committee for two years. It has been an extremely rewarding experience helping out with the program. Although it is through the athletic department it is a way to give back to the community and enjoy sports in a different setting.
3. Tell us about your internship experience.
I have worked at multiple places throughout the summers. After my freshman year I worked at a pizza shop as well as a place called Epiphany Solar Water Solutions in Pittsburgh. While there I had a hands on opportunity working with solar powered water distillers which was extremely rewarding for just finishing my freshman year. Following my sophomore and junior years I worked at a place called Allen & Shariff also in Pittsburgh. They are an MEP design firm which stands for mechanical, electrical and plumbing. What we do is design the air, electrical, and plumbing systems for buildings. We take an Architects design and create the heating and cooling system, power and lighting systems, and the supply and drainage systems for the building. An average day consists of a lot of computer aid design as well as calculations of many different kinds.
4. What are your summer plans?
Besides working, family affairs are what runs my summer. My family took a trip to the lovely town of Miami for four days at the end of June to celebrate my cousins wedding. A large chunk of my mother's family came in town for the 4th of July (She was one of nine kids so its a lot of people). And then my dad's side of the family takes a trip at the beginning of August to Carolina Beach in North Carolina for a week.
5. What are you excited about this semester?
I'm most excited for some freedom in my schedule. As an engineer your schedule is pretty structured as far as what classes have to be taken when. However, as senior year rolls around you have much more freedom to explore some different subjects and material. Along with that I'm looking forward to my senior design class. This is the class where you get to display all that you've learned while studying mechanical engineering.
6. Why did you select your course of study – what class have you enjoyed the most?
There were two main reasons. First I was good at the subjects. The second is I've always been a tinkerer. I love building stuff as well as taking stuff apart. It started with legos as a kid and grew into my desire to be a mechanical engineer.
7. What class would you recommended someone take?
People complain about coding, but I actually really enjoyed 15-110, a basic coding class. I never pursued coding any further, but I thought the problem solving in coding was fun and actually looked forward to the problem sets that were assigned.
8. What have you enjoyed about living in Pittsburgh?
As a lifetime Yinzer I've loved every minute of living in Pittsburgh. The great food, people, and views (like Mt. Washington). And of course the sports teams!!!
9. What has been a memorable moment so far during your time on the team?
There are too many to count. One memorable experience although it was kind of miserable was when our bus broke down and we got stuck on the side of the road in the middle of winter in Brockport, New York. It was cold and tough to get through, but definitely one we can look back at and laugh about.