Amanda Guan

Why did you choose to study MSE?

I first heard of MSE because my dad studied it back in college. When the time came to select a major, I originally thought to do chemical engineering because of how much I enjoyed studying chemistry in high school, but I really thought MSE sounded cooler and more unique. Turns out, when I started taking MSE classes, it was everything I thought chemical engineering was! I love learning about how things are made, and I'm very glad that high school Amanda chose the major that was "less mainstream."

What do you like most about MSE? 

I like how interdisciplinary MSE is. Whether it's medical devices, planes, electronics, consumer packaged goods, or whatever, there's MSE involved in some step of the process!

Any interesting projects/research you are working on now that you’d like to share?

This past semester I took a course with the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, where my team and I did a design partnership with Method Home. Even though we were all remote, we were still able to do a lot of investigation into biodegradable alternatives to moisture barriers on paper packaging. We were left with some data gaps and hopefully as things open up we're able to test some of our crosslinking strategies out.

What do you enjoy doing outside of school?

I enjoy playing and watching basketball--I've been able to play intramural for all of my (in-person) semesters at Cal! Since college, I've also really loved exploring some more artistic things, graphic design, hand lettering, bullet journaling.

What are your future plans?

At the moment, I'm just waiting to hear back from some of the graduate programs I applied to! Fingers crossed 🙂 I'm really open to seeing wherever life takes me. Ultimately, as I'm also pursuing a minor in public policy, I'd love to be able to do something in green engineering, bringing sustainable materials and a circular economy into everyday products.