Phong Pham, of Newark, received the Outstanding Senior Award in Mechanical Engineering at the 12th Annual Salute to Engineering Excellence sponsored by NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering (NCE). The dinner was held March 25, 2010 at NJIT.
Pham has a double major: mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Both are demanding and require a great deal of study. Yet Pham’s grade-point average is a near-perfect 3.95. He’s a scholar in the Albert Dorman Honors College, where he is senior class representative. He began as a mechanical engineering major but after his first semester, Pham, a scholar in the Honors College, had a chance to meet Albert Dorman, after whom the Honors College is named.
Dorman, a mechanical engineer and architect with a long and prominent career, told Pham that mechanical engineers who study electrical engineering are sought after. That’s because, Dorman explained, electrical power and signals are important in mechanical systems. Pham was impressed with Dorman’s advice, and took on a second major: electrical engineering.
Along with his heavy academic load, Pham is also a leader on campus. He’s president of two engineering honor societies: Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma. He also has three scholarships: the Tau Beta Pi Stabile Scholarship Award, the Karr Scholarship and the NJIT Presidential Scholarship. He also loves to teach and help others, especially inner-city students. He serves as a mentor for the NJIT-Newark Public School Robotics Collaborative and the FIRST LEGO league. He also volunteers to tutor students in math and science in the Newark public schools. He’s also a good researcher. In 2009 he also completed a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Purdue University. During that fellowship, he designed an educational device that teaches high school students about fluid power systems.
After he graduates, Pham plans to pursue a graduate degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in control systems. He’s now applying to top graduate schools. He’s also preparing to take the Fundamental Engineering Exam, the prerequisite for the Professional Engineering License. With his myriad talents and his endless reserves of energy and passion for his fields, Pham is bound to become a successful engineer.