Major: Dual-Degree Program
Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Bloomfield, NJ
“Math can take you anywhere.”
As a high-school student, Daniel Viaud’s guidance counselor gave him quizzes over the years that matched his academic strengths with potential careers. Although the questions varied, the answers were always the same: engineering and accounting.
So when he graduated from high school, Daniel enrolled in STAC’s five-year dual-degree engineering program offered jointly with Manhattan College.
“The more math I got in high school, the more I liked it. I also liked science—especially physics, because its mostly math,” Daniel says. “They were always the subjects that came the easiest to me, so I figured, why not make a career of it?”
It was the logical thing to do. And Daniel seized every opportunity he could to make sure he was on the right track.
He spent two summers interning with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the World Trade Center. While there, he was part of the reconstruction program, helping to conduct onsite testing to ensure that mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems were safe to open to the public.
He also applied and was accepted to a yearlong research program offered through STAC’s mathematics department, which culminated in a presentation and poster session at a national mathematics conference held in Los Angeles, California (Daniel is pictured, top-right photo, with classmates Heather Palmer and Lindsey Heiberger).
“My peers and I wanted to help people visualize and understand dimensions beyond the third dimension,” Daniel says. “Our work was very well received, and we caught peoples attention with a new way of looking at higher dimensions that no one has thought of before. We raised a lot of eyebrows at the conference, and it was our own original thinking.”
Daniel says his hands-on experience at STAC will prepare him well for his engineering career.
“When you go to a conference and present your own work, you are practicing for real life, because you have to learn to present your ideas throughout your career,” Daniel explains. “If you show up at a project meeting, you need to relay your ideas and the ideas of your team to the rest of the company.”
He said his classroom experience is also laying a solid foundation for success.
“All of my professors are extremely willing to help me out. If I don’t understand something the first time, they’ll go over it again, during class, before class, or after class,” Daniel says. “If you are good at math and don’t know what to major in, choose math. Math can take you anywhere.”
Upon completion of his dual-degree program, Daniel would like to work as a transportation engineer in the automotive or locomotive industries.