Written in the Stars – Jesse Stevenson

Jesse Stevenson, from Holmdel, NJ, is a second year electrical engineering major, minoring in computer science. When asked about his involvement on campus, he admits that, “It’s a long list. I have to compile it.” Some of the organizations Jesse is involved with include the Stevens Orchestra, SITTV, Ski Team, and Sailing Team. His hobbies include photography, 3-D printing, and anything electronic or having to do with computers.

For Jesse, engineering may have just been written in the stars all along. With his dad being an electrical engineering major and his mom being a math major, it hardly comes as a surprise that Jesse grew up with an interest in a STEM-related career path.

When asked about whether there was a correlation between his diverse interests, Jesse explained the importance of exercising both the creative and technical sides of the brain. He says, “Instead of developing my brain in one way, I try to spread in both the engineering and creative side of things. I learn in both directions.” He adds, “When I get tired of one [side of the brain], I work on the other.”

Music has been a part of Jesse’s life since he was in fourth grade. In school, he played in symphonic band, and currently, he is a French horn player in the Stevens orchestra. Similar to how he got introduced to engineering and sailing, Jesse also comes from a musical family. His dad plays the French horn, and his mom plays the clarinet.

“I like doing many things,” Jesse says quite simply. Last year, Jesse participated in a project which built a 3-D printer that prints on a rocket during rocket launch to test the effects of microgravity on 3-D printing. “I don’t know if there’s scientific value in that, but it was at least a fun project in the sense that going through the entire design phase, conforming to NASA’s regulations, and then ultimately completing the project.”

This year, Jesse is starting his own project. Jesse is building a vibration dampening system so that when sensitive electronics are launched on a rocket, such as a mass spectrometer, they can be protected from the vibrations during launch. In addition to taking on and completing these ambitious projects, one of Jesse’s main goals is to design a full system including everything from the hardware, software, and the marketing of it.

Perhaps he is the next great entrepreneur of the 21st century. Jesse muses, “I’m not really a Steve Jobs— I’m closer to a Steve Wozniac type. Because any ideas I think of I don’t think are very marketable.” This may bring up some memories of MGT 103, better known as Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Identifying a pain and providing a solution is easier said than done. But hey, Jesse already has an app on the App Store and on the Android Store!

When not tinkering with electronics, Jesse is innovating and creating—even when playing the French horn! For example, Jesse has thought of making a watch app to capture a conductor’s movements and relay them to all the musician’s stands. And when sailing, Jesse thought up the development for an app for his watch to help with the race starts. Tying it all back to Jesse’s diverse creative and technical pursuits: whatever his hobbies may be, he will be able to make stuff for them!

The key to seemingly doing everything is to have a balance. Jesse suggests, “Try to do as much as you can of both [the creative and the technical]. “Don’t get too polarized towards one side or the other because you really need to be able to think in different ways to solve problems that are cross-disciplinary. Pursue as many disciplines as you can without sacrificing one.”