Love What You Do and Have Fun

If I had to describe ASME E-Fest West in a few words, I would say it’s all about engineers having fun. After months of hard work, midterms, and everything else, E-Fest was a chance to come together with students all over the West Coast to celebrate another year completed.

It was truly fortunate how I got involved with E-Fest West. In my fourth year as a mechanical engineering student and president of the ASME chapter on campus, I stumbled upon the fact that the 2018 E-Fest West would be happening at the Fairplex in Pomona, which is only six miles away from my school. I managed to connect with the ASME Events Logistics Director, and before I knew it I was helping plan this amazing event.

During the early months of preparation, a lack of volunteers and conference entertainment caused concerns about whether the E-Fest would be ready in time. Luckily, I had the help of two amazing Cal Poly Pomona students who had agreed to partake in this journey with me. Being in very different stages in our college careers, I would have never had the opportunity to meet and create so many memories with them if it were not for E-Fest.  

On the second day of the event, armed with a script in hand, I marched to where I would spend the rest of my day as the emcee, the Student Design Competition. This year, the design challenge was to assemble a team of robots to compete in a soccer tournament. As a soccer fanatic (I don’t even know if that is even enough to describe my love for the sport), I was excited to see how exactly robots and soccer would come together.

As I entered the huge hangar-like building, the space was buzzing with chatter and excitement as student teams scattered around busily making last-minutes changes to their robots. There were so many different designs, with some students using Bluetooth on their phones to control their speedy robotic soccer players and others creating slow-moving robotic walls controlled with Xbox controllers to act as impenetrable goalies.

Turning on the microphone, I welcomed everyone and officially called for the first games to begin and the teams were off to their assigned soccer squares. With fierce competition and competitive spirits flaring, the fields beckoned with the prospect of spectacle and students began arriving by the masses and loudly cheered their favorite teams to victory. After several elimination rounds, the four finalists were left to battle it out to be crowned the victor. I won’t tell you how it ended, but I can promise you it was just as chaotic and exciting as the 2014 World Cup Soccer final.

The 2018 E-Fest West was by-far one of the most challenging and eye-opening experiences in my college career. As I continue to grow as an engineer and entrepreneur, I will never forget the most important thing that E-Fest taught me: Love what you do and have fun!

Isabel Gutierrez is a member of the 2018-2019 E-Fest Leadership Program.

If your university is interested in hosting a future E-Fest, checkout the Host Application for more information and how to apply.