Miguel Rodriguez

Class of 2012
Civil engineering, minor in mechanical engineering

When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer?

As a child, I loved designing and building projects out of LEGO blocks and K’NEX. The projects consisted of building small house models, remote control cars and other fun gadgets. I moved on to larger projects using small motors and began using materials such as wood, aluminum and steel. I realized that I had a passion for building things, and I was deeply interested in cars, spaceships and outer space. As a freshman in high school, I was interested in the structural design of buildings, and at that time, I knew I wanted to pursue structural engineering.

Why did you choose Berkeley Engineering?

Miguel RodriguezMiguel Rodriguez (Photo by Preston Davis)When I researched universities in high school, I looked for schools that would challenge my development. I chose Berkeley because I knew, hands down, that Berkeley Engineering would offer me the greatest growth.

What do you like most about Berkeley Engineering?

Berkeley Engineering has some of the best faculty in their fields, and I have had the privilege of having close relationships with some of them. Berkeley Engineering also has some of the brightest students across the U.S., and to know that a lot of us will go out and make a difference after college is exciting. Since the students around me are very bright, competition is at an all-time high, which results in a challenging course load. The satisfaction of finishing assignments and scoring well in exams become personal milestones in self-discipline and responsibility, which are very important for engineering.

What else do you do?

I play many musical instruments and recently have been trying to sharpen my skills in guitar. I love to read and try to read a few books a month. I am interested in esoteric philosophies and love to read books on the subject. On the weekends, I check out concerts or small shows, and on rare occasions, I get to jam out with the band.

What are you passionate about?

Expanding humanity’s knowledge base and participating in the further exploration of science, which leads to discovery of new sciences; implementing scientific literacy in our society, which will lead to a richer community; and the development of sciences that will facilitate human life. One day, as a civil/mechanical engineer, I want to be able to design a craft that will allow us to explore beyond our current limitations and to understand our current unknowns. This can be facilitated by having a society where people are excited about figuring out the unknown through the power of science. This is why I am so passionate about engineering, because I know Berkeley can offer me opportunities to make some of these things happen.

Read more student profiles.