Kevin Tyler – Outstanding Graduate
Kevin Tyler is an honors student graduating as a Mouer Award recipient with a 4.0 GPA and a Grand Challenge Scholar, signifying his completion of a unique, application-based program for highly qualified engineering students at ASU. He plans to begin graduate school in the fall.
Did you participate in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) program, Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) or any student organizations? What, briefly, did you do in these programs and what were your biggest achievements?
My FURI research took place at the Solar Power Lab and involved the investigation of wire interconnections in solar cell modules and flexible solar cells. I published my work and presented at the 2015 Silicon Workshop, a professional and international solar energy conference.
In EPICS Gold and EPICS Maroon I worked on the Prescott Pines Wi-Fi team, the House of Refuge – Net Zero team, and the Phoenix Homeless Shelter Shade Structure projects. In all three teams we provided professional level service to those we worked with, and I am proud of the outcomes.
As an engineer in the Vive Peru program I helped build an Internet tower for a school on the outskirts of Trujillo, Peru. I was also able to explore the Peruvian culture by staying with a host family and participating in social work.
In addition to completing the Grand Challenge Scholars program I was a co-founder of the Grand Challenge Scholars Alliance and served as the vice president for two years. During this time the club has united the students in the program, as well as provided monthly engineering education activities for the children at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
What has been most rewarding about your undergraduate years at ASU? What has been most challenging?
The most rewarding aspect of my undergraduate years at ASU has been the variety of programs I have been able to experience. As an undergraduate I was able to do professional research, conduct meaningful community service, focus on my chosen grand challenge of solar energy, and work as an undergraduate teaching assistant. These experiences form the backbone of my future career in renewable energy.
The largest challenge I faced during my undergraduate years was staying focused and involved in school while being diagnosed and dealing with chronic depression, a condition I have had most of my life. From the small things such as striving for the energy to write a single email to the big things such as having the courage to work through each day, this illness has posed the greatest threat to my success as an undergraduate. However, by learning methods to work around this daily struggle and succeed in all that I have pursued, I have grown stronger than I ever thought possible.
What are your long-term career aspirations?
Long-term I hope to either work in a national research laboratory, to be a professor or to work in the research and development department of a company. I also hope to one day start my own company. I would most like to be a part of making solar energy both the cleanest and most economical source of energy in the world. This has been my focus as a Grand Challenge Scholar, and will continue to be my focus in the future.