From large-scale infrastructures to the tiniest electronics, innovations work because they were engineered with precision and an eye to improving life. Implementing the tools to make effective decisions is no exception. Mash Syed’s role at Chipotle is proof of this. The company’s lead data scientist, he provides in-depth data analysis to the top execs of the American restaurant chain. The impact of Syed’s insights were especially valuable during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when consumer behavior changed drastically.
Syed credits his time as a computer science master’s student at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with preparing him to deftly deal with the unexpected. He says that his Introduction to Data Science course “really solidified” his interest in the topic and called the entire program “transformational”.
The first research university in America, Johns Hopkins has built an international reputation on its curriculum, which emphasizes research and innovation, preparing students to develop big ideas and accomplish their professional goals. Syed called on this approach in early 2020, using publicly available data to build a machine-learning model that assessed the pandemic’s impact on Chipotle’s business at the county level. That model informed company leaders’ decisions on important matters, such as when employees in certain regions could safely return to work.
These kind of success stories are typical at Johns Hopkins, which has a reputation for transforming ambitious learners into visionary leaders. The combination that gets them there? Academic excellence and an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, fuelled by collaboration across engineering disciplines. Nine academic departments and more than 20 graduate degree programmes offered online and on the school’s Baltimore campus means students have myriad opportunities to pursue graduate-level studies in engineering.
Innovation is at the heart of the student experience at Johns Hopkins Engineering, and Design Day is their annual opportunity to put their often ground-breaking innovations on display for fellow students, faculty, staff, and visitors. All projects are the products of students’ close collaboration with JHU’s faculty members and clinical researchers. Students also work closely on these projects with industry and other sponsors from across the Mid-Atlantic region on projects that solve real-world challenges.
“Design Day is an exciting landmark in our students’ journeys from studying engineering in the classroom and laboratory to becoming practising engineers heading out to make a lasting and positive impact on our world,” says Ed Schlesinger, dean of the Whiting School.
For four chemical and biomolecular engineering students — Tyler Guarino, Marie Eric, Rachel Nie, and Erin Walsh — this meant conceptualising and prototyping “Tastee Tape,” an edible adhesive tape that promises to put an end to beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole spilling out of your tortilla or soft taco as you eat lunch. Simply add ingredients to your wrap, fold it, and affix a small piece of the tape to fasten the two ends together. Then enjoy your lunch. The team designed and tested product, made of a food-grade fibrous scaffold and an organic adhesive, in their off-campus apartment kitchens.
Another example of student innovation are projects developed in the Multidisciplinary Engineering Design course, in which students recently worked alongside animal specialists at the Maryland Zoo to devise a new way to keep elephants healthy by stimulating their olfactory systems. The solution was a small box with changeable essential-oil-saturated pads and an internal fan that could be activated remotely, wafting the pachyderms’ favorite scents in the air.
Other students, who were part of the Computer Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship course offered as a collaboration between the Whiting School of Engineering’s Centre for Leadership Education and the Department of Computer Science, developed an artificial intelligence-driven online game designed to help older adults cope with social isolation. Styled after a classic board game, the students’ invention allows users to actually talk to a digital assistant and get responses while playing.
“We really liked the idea of creating a game that also has a voice interaction aspect to it, so users can have real conversations through the game,” said team member Marcelo Morales.
Graduates of Johns Hopkins Engineering programs take their knowledge, skills, and experience into the workplace, making their mark there, too. Take Andre Douglas, for instance. He received his master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering in 2019 while working at the university’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Recently, he was inducted into NASA’s newest astronaut candidate class: one of just 10 selected from a field of more than 12,000 candidates.
Achieving such success and earning a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins has never been easier, thanks to Home-to-Hopkins, a program that allows students maximum flexibility. Participating graduate students complete two to four remote graduate courses from their home country in the first year before moving to Johns Hopkins’ main Homewood campus in Baltimore in year two.
Home-to-Hopkins benefits include affordability, advanced coursework, ample access to JHU’s expert scholars and engineers, as well as Optional Practical Training (OPT) application eligibility. The experience is open to anyone looking to step into an engineering role with a qualification in computer science, data science, financial mathematics, or applied and computational mathematics.
Ranked #12 for online engineering master’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, JHU has more than two decades of experience in delivering online master’s degrees.
So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to the admissions team today to kick-start your journey to becoming the engineer you’ve always wanted to be.