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Mechanical Engineering Senior Aims to Help Those in Need

If you are faithful with the little, you are faithful with much. It’s a slight variation on a quote from the Bible, but to Juan Mesa, a rising senior studying mechanical engineering, it has become part of what fuels him to always strive for more.

“Even the small things, whether it’s innovating, creating, or communicating [with others], there’s always something that I could do,” he said.

With two successful co-ops already under his belt – Nova Biomedical and Waters Corporation – Mesa explained that he’s always had the initiative to work hard. In both of those experiences, he said it was important to remember that he did not know everything, but that was why he was there.

“You’re there to learn,” Mesa said. “Writing up a presentation may not have been my strongest asset, for example, but it was about taking the time to do something good. All of those little things add up throughout time and can have a big impact on my life and other people’s lives as well.”

At Nova Biomedical, Mesa helped to develop over 15 test fixtures of varying complexity, using SolidWorks to support the manufacturing process of the analyzers. He also designed a Cell Density Viability Module from start to end and wrote and edited over 10 assembly and test procedures.

At Waters Corporation he tested and diagnosed mechanisms using self-made optical test bench and MATLAB. Additionally, Mesa designed and developed next-generation appliances using SolidWorks.

Mesa was also recently named to the prestigious Huntington 100, an honor recognizing outstanding undergraduate and graduate students for their classroom and community achievements.

“It’s always nice to be rewarded for working hard and being part of the Northeastern community,” he said. “I try to just make a difference in the little things, whether it’s in class, the lab, when I’m doing research, etc.”

Moving from automobiles to energy creation

Originally from Colombia, Mesa grew up in Boston and always had a love for cars. That love steered him to MassBay Community College where he received a degree in Automotive Technology. However, he knew he needed something more. He applied to Northeastern and joined the College of Engineering through the S-POWER scholars program.

Standing for Stu­dent Path­ways Opening World Energy Resources, S-POWER aims to increase work­force diver­sity in STEM fields and the energy sector. For Mesa, it helped him find a true community and gave him the opportunity to become the best version of himself.

“I am determined to accomplish a lot of things,” he said, adding that he wants to make a positive impact in the world. “I am planning on attending grad school and starting my own venture simultaneously. I’ve always had this passion to be a good leader and to help people, whether they are from developing countries or developed ones.”

The short-term may involve Mesa honing that STEM devotion toward grad school, ideally MIT, but beyond that, he knows his future is in the energy industry.

“I want to have a venture focused on bringing energy to developing countries or those that have little to no resources,” he said. “For example, places in [Colombia] have no access to clean water, and in this day and age, these issues are unacceptable. Here, the exceptional education I have received has given me the resources and knowledge to build something for those in need.”

Related Departments:Mechanical & Industrial Engineering