Brian (Team Leader)

EAF_Profile_BrianName: Brian

Role: EAF Founder / Team Leader

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)
B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Minor in Materials Science Engineering

University of California, Irvine
M.S./Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Fluid Mechanics) [In Progress] 

Cal Poly Pomona Dean’s List (x10)
Cal Poly Pomona President’s Honor List (x1)
NCEES Mechanical Engineering FE Certified
ONR NREIP Intern [Previous]

ICOES Bartending Training Certificate
ICOES Barista Training Certificate
H&H Animal Psychology Training Certificate
NC Nutrition Training Certificate

American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Physical Society (Division of Fluid Dynamics)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Society for Engineering Education

Industry Experience:
C. Erwin Piper Technical Center
Hyperion Treatment Plant

Hobbies Outside EAF:
Learning, engineering/science side projects, CAD, shooting, wakeboarding, hiking, reading, researching all things engineering/fluid dynamics & military (especially special operations forces)/defense/law enforcement

My mechanical engineering (M.E.) story:

In highschool I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I must have taken 30+ of those career aptitude tests and got a different answer each time and so I resolved to apply to a community college for two years and decide what I wanted to do while there.  As it turns out, most of my friends were all applying to “4-year” schools and so my friends began to pressure me to apply to “4-year” schools, with my parents echoing that opinion; the only problem was that I still had no idea what I would study.  Eventually I decided something along the lines of ‘well, I like working with my hands, so I’ll apply for mechanical engineering’.  Little did I know how ridiculously wrong I was about what mechanical engineering (M.E.) actually consisted of…but my view of M.E. was corrected pretty quickly once I started at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP).  It started with physics, chemistry, and advanced mathematics and then moved on to subjects such as Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, materials science, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, control systems, mechanical measurements, and many more hybrid and more advanced subjects.  I realized a few things pretty quickly:

  1. Mechanical engineering was not what I thought it was.
  2. This stuff is really difficult.
  3. There will be time to sleep when I’m dead.
  4. If coffee is not my best friend, it is at the least one of my closest allies.
  5. really love mechanical engineering!

As I found out, mechanical engineering is not for the lazy, dispassionate, or the faint-of-heart and I was in a sink-or-swim/fight-or-flight type of scenario.  If I wasn’t willing to put in the time necessary, to work harder than I’ve ever worked before, and to give it my all, there was no way possible that I was going to make it.  And so that’s exactly what I did: I got organized, I got to work, and I convinced myself that I was going to give it my all and that when there was nothing left for me to give, I would double down on my efforts.  Why?  Because of the challenge.  Mechanical engineering is one of those rare fields in which you can never run out of challenges so long as you continue to look for them, where you truly can continue to learn every day for the rest of your life and still be nowhere near knowing it all, where if you decide that you do know it all, you can be 100% certain that the world of engineering will humble and humiliate you instantly.

There were countless times in my undergraduate career where I would be stressed out continuously for weeks (if not months) on end, where I would have to go a few days without sleeping, or wouldn’t have time to eat for a day and a half, and yet I still could not get enough of it!  Why?  Because the subject matter is fascinating and studying M.E. forces you to completely reshape your view of the world by giving you the tools and the mindset necessary to understand and analyze virtually anything that exists or occurs in the world around you and to design things that the average person would think to be impossible!  All you have to do is commit yourself to your studies and truly learn how to apply your knowledge.  I have been asked by virtually everyone I know how difficult my field of study is.  The simple answer is that it is the most difficult scenario I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing and I absolutely love it.  It is impossible for me to communicate through writing the immense amount of passion that I have for my studies, and I have made sure to capitalize on my position as a ME student at CPP in every way possible.

Picking mechanical engineering to study was one of the craziest, most un-informed, recklessly impulsive decisions I’ve ever made and yet I wouldn’t go back in time and change it for all of the money in the world.  The day that I was admitted to CPP as a ME major invariably changed my life in a way that I would have never imagined to be possible; I can honestly say that there is nothing I would rather be doing.  I have researched everything from materials considerations in submersible design to spacecraft thermal control systems to arachnid-like walking mechanisms to supersonic flows and have been a part of and served as a leader of teams that have done everything from evaluating rope materials for survival purposes to researching microscopic high endurance gear coatings to protect US Army helicopter transmissions in “oil-out” scenarios to developing a compact field-ready rotational viscometer to researching advanced anti-corrosion fastener coatings for use on US Navy carrier jets to developing an extremely advanced and innovative stealthy, highly maneuverable, quick unmanned underwater vehicle working prototype to take the place of special operators in naval reconnaissance missions to, yes, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) blogging on and  I have worked with some of the most incredibly gifted, capable, down-to-earth, and overall awesome people I can ever hope to meet and have presented research at two conferences, two research competitions, and represented the mechanical engineering department in the CPP College of Engineering Project Showcase with these teams.  I have also gained invaluable industry internship experience through four internships in three different industries doing eight different types of work and everything in this paragraph was done during my undergraduate career alone.  I completely turned my life around over the course of earning my undergraduate degree and have become someone who would be unrecognizable to my past self.

Why am I saying all of this?  Because that is what this website is all about: we want to show you the opportunities available in the STEM fields in the hope of inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists, technicians, and mathematicians.  The possibilities are endless.  This is especially true within the field of mechanical engineering, where you truly can do/become whatever/whoever you want to.  Our goal here at EAF is to give some amount of insight into the STEM world, and (more specifically) the often overlooked world of engineering, because as long as you are willing to put in the effort, there is an incredible future waiting for you to engineer it.  By choosing to go into the engineering fields, you can truly change the world as we know it; in fact, changing the world is fairly routine for today’s engineers.  So please join us along this journey of exploration into the world of engineering…I promise you’ll be glad that you did!

Thank you for your time