“My school transcript is a kaleidoscope,” said Travis McDaniel (B.S, General Engineering, 2014; M.S., Engineering, 2014) of his general education experience at Cal Poly.
Not that he would have had it any other way. The eclectic-looking curriculum was part of a self-determined, ever-evolving path that allowed McDaniel to put his own mark on a degree that blends sustainability and energy engineering with engineering management.
“I entered general engineering initially because I didn’t know what type of engineering to pursue — and because it embodied my vision of Learn by Doing, which was, in effect, ‘You’re in college to find out what you want to do,’” he said. “I gravitated toward mechanical engineering because of its breadth, and by my third year, I was finding that my natural affinities were not so much with material strength, statics and mechanics. Instead, I’d discovered a passion for thermodynamics, which is all about the ‘warmer’ side of engineering — fluids, energy flow and energy conversion.”
That’s when the personal empowerment of charting his own path through an independent course of studies truly kicked in, he said. “I could tailor a degree in sustainability and energy engineering as I saw fit.”