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Story in the School of Engineering

Sennott photo

Tim Sennott '09

Mechanical Engineering major
At a glance:

Issues of sustainability urges mechanical engineer to incorporate environmentalism into his career.

Tim Sennott ?09 believes that a big part of education is finding out what you?re good at and how to use your talents to help others.
Sennott entered SCU as a communications major but switched to biology and became involved with the Green Club, a grass roots organization on campus that spreads awareness about environmental preservation. ?I met a number of great faculty from the Environmental Studies Institute and I was able to see the issue of sustainability from different angles,? explains the former Green Club president.
One of those angles included looking at environmental science from both ethical and technically challenging perspectives. ?I started to think of it in terms of whose lives can we improve,? recalls Sennott. ?How do we help the billions of people in developing countries achieve the standard of living we've enjoyed??
In grappling with those questions, Sennott finally determined that the engineering route was most applicable. ?Being an engineer and having the tools to confront the biggest challenges facing our society just made sense,? says this mechanical engineering major. It meant an extra year before graduating, but Sennott figured happiness is doing what you believe feels right.  
Through it all, Sennott credits Santa Clara's values-based education for his focus on the world's environmental challenges. ?The diversity of this environment and the integration of programs, where engineering students are working with people from biology and business and communications, allows students to see all perspectives,? says Sennott. ?It helps them determine where their responsibility lies, where their accountability begins, and how they need to act.?
After graduation, Sennott knows exactly what he?ll be doing. "Graduate school, and then work on sustainable design," says Sennott. "I'd like to solve engineering problems in a more intelligent way?being mindful of the true environmental cost and resource drain, and closing the waste loop.?


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