A junior studying materials science and engineering, Talen Sehgal has competed in numerous MatSE competitions, served as a TA for multiple MatSE courses, and helped with department recruiting efforts. He is excited to use his platform as a Knight of St. Patrick to continue setting positive examples throughout the Grainger Engineering community and beyond.
It’s the Little Things
Talen has always been drawn to MatSE, as it allowed him to apply his passion for applied chemistry.
“I really liked being able to see the micro/nanoscale structure of a material’s effect on the macroscale properties. With this knowledge, engineers can manipulate materials at a fundamental chemical level into performing specific functions, which honestly was just pretty cool and mind blowing to think about.”
Talen has been able to apply concepts to a handful of projects. He has worked on developing ceramic mugs that are impact resistant when dropped. With this project, Talen had the opportunity to compete against other schools in Portland, Oregon at the Materials Science and Technology technical meeting and exhibition.
A Community for Engineers
Talen wants future Illini to know that there is a lot that goes into making a Grainger Engineer, and the challenges and opportunities that accompany being part of a top-ranked program should be embraced.
“It’s one thing to just go to class, take the exam, and graduate. It’s a completely different thing to be actively involved in your community, display some leadership qualities, and help better those around you.”
Talen hopes that he can assist the university with recruiting events. Ultimately, Talen wants to show future engineers how Grainger Engineering stands out from the rest in terms of curriculum, problem-solving, real world application, and community. Being a Knight of St. Patrick is the perfect platform for Talen to communicate that message.
“I think that as a Knight, myself and my fellow class have a responsibility to continue being involved with the college, displaying important core values and making appropriate decisions along the way. Knighthood to me means that I have an opportunity to be a positive example for others in a public setting, hopefully inspiring my peers along the way.
Hands-On Work, Real Differences
Being able to perform hands-on work and learn about real world examples in and out of the classroom is extremely important to Talen. He is grateful to be part of a program that values real world application of MatSE concepts.
“Illinois has quickly taught me to develop a practical understanding of the world around me. It has taught me to take problems that I see in the world and turn them into something that I can understand better.”
Talen is extremely grateful for the experiences Grainger Engineers are fortunate enough to take part in. He serves on the board for both the Rube Goldberg Society and the MatSE honors organization, Keramos. With the tools he learned from the MatSE department and The Grainger College of Engineering, Talen has been able to compete at a national level.
“I think the best part of being a student at The Grainger College of Engineering is that the support systems within the college are for an interested and passionate student to explore opportunities that pique their curiosity. The college and the department have both been great resources to me here, letting me get involved in things I didn’t even know undergraduates could do!”