MechSE celebrates exceptional eight on Senior 100


  Back row: Sanjit Dutta, Alex Kahn, Luke Meyer, Arjun Kumar. Front: Jason Troutner, Anna Purk, Taylor Boyke.</p>

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Back row: Sanjit Dutta, Alex Kahn, Luke Meyer, Arjun Kumar.  Front: Jason Troutner, Anna Purk, Taylor Boyke. Inset: Patrick Slade.
Back row: Sanjit Dutta, Alex Kahn, Luke Meyer, Arjun Kumar. Front: Jason Troutner, Anna Purk, Taylor Boyke. Inset: Patrick Slade.
Back row: Sanjit Dutta, Alex Kahn, Luke Meyer, Arjun Kumar. Front: Jason Troutner, Anna Purk, Taylor Boyke. Inset: Patrick Slade.
Eight of MechSE’s outstanding graduating seniors have been named to the Senior 100 Honorary.
The Senior 100 Honorary is a program of the University of Illinois Alumni Association that recognizes notable seniors across campus for their past achievement and future commitment to the university. The program honors what the students have accomplished and acknowledges the great impact they will have on the world after graduation. Only 100 seniors from the entire campus are chosen.
Taylor Boyke is a James Scholar and a double major in mechanical engineering and Spanish. She studied abroad in Granada, Spain, and spent her last winter break in India performing customer discovery research. She also worked for two summers as an intern with the U.S. Department of Defense. Taylor is an Engineering Learning Assistant (ELA) and Lead ELA for ENG 198 and ENG 100 (respectively), and has been involved with the Illinois chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Engineering. After graduation, she will join PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Technology Advisory Associate.
Sanjit Dutta is completing his degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. He has been heavily involved in the MechSE community as the external vice president of Pi Tau Sigma, the mechanical engineering honor society. He is also an undergraduate researcher in mechatronics with Professor Geir Dullerud’s research group. Sanjit also assisted in planning Engineering Open House 2016 as the Director of Visitor’s Information, and made contributions that include designing and compiling the visitor’s guide and organizing over 300 volunteers. In addition, Sanjit is a computer administrator for the Campus Honors Program (CHP) and has been developing and maintaining CHP administration tools and web resources. Upon graduation in May, he is headed to PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City as a Technology Consulting Associate.
Alex Kahn is a third-generation Illinois student from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He plays club volleyball and is Vice President of New Members for Pi Tau Sigma. This summer Alex will earn his pilot’s license, plans to skydive, and then intern at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Space Hardware/Robotics Academy before starting graduate school at Stanford University.
Arjun Kumar is a senior in mechanical engineering who transferred into Illinois from Malaysia in fall 2013. He is currently the HVAC Co-Lead for Illinois Solar Decathlon - Race to Zero Team, which finished second place in this year’s competition, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. He was also part of the Chainless Challenge Senior Design Team that finished fifth at this year’s national competition hosted by Parker Hannifin and NFPA. Arjun was formerly the Vice President of Chapter Relations for Engineers Without Borders, for the 2015 terms. He is also an active member of the Malaysian Students Association (MASA UIUC) and Pi Tau Sigma. In spring 2015, he took part in a study abroad program to KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, where he focused his studies on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. After graduation, he is taking a semester off to travel and build volunteer experiences abroad, while applying to graduate school.
Luke Meyer is graduating in just three years with a degree in mechanical engineering. For all three years, he has been a James Scholar and was named to the Dean’s List. Luke worked with Associate Professor Tonghun Lee on designing and constructing a hypersonic combustor for optical and laser diagnostics research. He has been an avid member of the Illinois Track and Field Club, where he competes as a mid-distance runner. He hopes to continue running as he transitions to the mechanical engineering graduate program at MIT, where he will consider focusing on product design or biomechanics as a research area.
Anna Purk, a senior in mechanical engineering, has been involved with Engineering Council, specifically the Student Introduction to Engineering (SITE) committee, for four years and served as the director of SITE this year. She studied abroad in Valencia, Spain, for five months and traveled to China and Brazil as part of her Hoeft Technology and Management minor. She has been a James Scholar and was on the Dean’s List throughout her four years. She is also involved in her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and is a college leader for Young Life. She has held internships at the Clorox Company, John Deere, and Alexian Brothers. Anna is excited to start working full-time as a Business Technology Analyst at Deloitte in the fall.
Patrick Slade is a senior in mechanical engineering. He develops advanced prosthetic hands at a low cost as part of Aerospace Engineering Professor Tim Bretl’s research group, and he co-founded PSYONIC, a bio-tech startup, to get low-cost prostheses to patients around the globe. This led to him being named a Forbes 30 under 30 in Healthcare this year. Outside of academics, Patrick is involved in Engineering Council’s outreach on the Engineering Information Bureau, as well as sports such as climbing, ultimate frisbee, and running. He was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his research and will start graduate studies in mechanical engineering at Stanford University next year. 
Jason Troutner is a senior in mechanical engineering, with a minor in computer science. He is the CTO and co-founder of Cast21, a startup dedicated to developing advanced orthopedic casting technologies. He conducts research in biomechanics with the Professor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler’s Human Dynamics and Controls lab. He has spent his summers in internships with Texas Instruments and Yaskawa America. Jason also participated on the University of Illinois club gymnastics team during the past four years as the president, the vice president, and a competitor. He is a James Scholar, Chancellor’s Scholar, and MechSE Outstanding Scholar. He has won multiple awards for engineering design and bioengineering, including the John C. and Elizabeth J. Chato Award in Bioengineering, the Leung Student Venture Fund Award, and the MechSE Excellence in Engineering Design Award. After graduation, he will begin working on his startup full-time.

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This story was published April 25, 2016.