Hello all the mechanical engineers out there , here we are with an exiciting interview with the CHAIR of ASME HPVC competitions held all over the world. HPVC (Human Powered Vehicle Challange) in which young engineering students make up a team to develop and design a unique and innovative design of a vehicle similar to tricycle.

Lets peep into the life of the ASME HPVC chair.

Hello Mr. Nathan Taylor welcome to MECHANICAL INFO

1) How did you spend your time during engineering?
During my undergrad studies I spend my time studying, volunteering on campus for various clubs, and hanging out with my friends. My school is on a quarter system where our courses only last 10 weeks so it moves very quickly and it was important to not get behind so I worked pretty hard. I also spent time volunteering for clubs like the Sierra Club, Engineers without Borders, and ASME. Through these clubs I organized all kinds of events to raise awareness about environmental issues and to promote student participation in engineering outside of the classroom.

2) Did you dream of becoming a chair HPVC committee, what were your goals?
I never dreamed of becoming the chair of the HPVC committee but I’m very happy to be serving in the position. I’ve been involved with the HPVC since 2009 when I hosted the competition in Philadelphia and since then I have been on the HPVC committee. The committee creates the rules and helps plan the competitions along with the hosts. My current goals are to lead the committee to have successful competitions over the next two years as we integrate with the ASME E-Fest and expand the number of competitions we have globally.
3) How did you get inspired to work voluntarily in ASME? Has your background helped you get where you are today?
I started volunteering with ASME as a student while pursuing my bachelor’s degree to meet more people in my department and to learn more about engineering. I wasn’t sure what opportunities existed in the world for engineers and participation in ASME helped me discover how diverse and wonderful engineering is. As a student, I participated in all of the student programs like the Student Design Competition and Old Guard oral presentation competitions. Participating in engineering activities outside of the classroom are very important for every student and I think that it was beneficial for me to grow as an engineer.
I think that the biggest benefit of volunteering for ASME has been all of the people that I have met over my almost 10 years of membership. Some of my best friends I have met through ASME and I have also made some really important professional connections. Never underestimate how beneficial building a professional network is.

4) Currently as a PHD what are you working on?
I’m currently finishing my PhD dissertation and defense presentation and plan to finish in December 2016. My PhD research focus is electric plasma and my dissertation is on using sparks to generate pressure waves to replace traditional mechanical compressors.
In August I started working as a Lecturer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
5) Who Inspires You?
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX really inspires me. It takes a lot of ambition to start a company that has a goal to change the whole way that space flight has been done for the last 50 years. Until very recently space flight was only done by governments and contractors hired by them but Musk decided that he could do it better and cheaper and he is succeeding. It is incredibly inspiring.

6) What is your working schedule and how do you manage your time?
As a Lecturer, my days are filled with being in class during lectures and lab sections, meeting with students, and preparing for future classes. I’m also finishing my PhD so between the two things I don’t have much free time. The free time that I have I mostly spend volunteering for ASME. After I finish my PhD next month I plan to spend time doing hobbies like fencing and hopefully doing some research.

7) As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Is your life today different from how you envisioned it?
When I was a kid I don’t think that I really had an idea of what I wanted to do. I remember at some point thinking I would be a chef or a magician but I never had anything strong feeling of what I wanted to do. In high school I felt like I might make a good engineer and when the time to apply to colleges came that is what I decided to do. Since then I have known that I wanted to be an engineer. It fits my mind set and personality well. 
8) As Steve Jobs mentioned that you will connect the dots when you look back into your life. Tell us something about connecting the dots in your life.
I think that when we are younger it is hard to recognize how much we don’t know. I remember thinking that I was pretty knowledgeable during college but now when I look back I wish I was more aware of how much there is to learn. I see this same attitude in some of my students and young people that I work with. They are busy thinking they know a lot but it’s important to listen and ask questions as much as you can. Not just when you are a student but throughout your life. We can all learn a lot from each other if we are just open minded and willing to learn. I wish that at certain points in my life I stopped to ask for feedback from the people around me instead of assuming I knew what was best.

9) Your favorite movie, book and best thing that you enjoy doing.
One of my favorite movies is The Dark Knight and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is probably my favorite book. I really enjoy riding my bicycle and cooking. I ride my bike to work every day and try to cook something almost every day as well.

10) Message for Young Mechanical Engineers:
If you are a student, then make sure to study hard. Grades are not the most important thing in the world but good grades help you get internships, scholarships, and provide you with opportunities like studying abroad. Once you feel that you can do well in school then get involved in student organizations to meet new people and broaden your knowledge of the world. Finally, take advantage of every opportunity that you can and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You never know until you try and if you don’t try then you will never know.