The College of Engineering & Computing (CEC) is proud of its students’ commitment to research, study, and accomplishments in the classroom and beyond. Meet McNair Scholar and B.S. Mechanical Engineering student, Matty Sey.

Matty Sey in lab

The Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) offers BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and MS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. Mechanical and materials engineering are, and will be, of critical importance in areas as diverse as space exploration, environmental control, defense, energy issues, transportation and bioengineering.

Name: Matty Sey
Hometown: Miami, FL
Degree/major: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Why did you choose FIU CEC?
I chose FIU CEC because I have been a part of FIU’s TRIO programs since the 5th grade and I couldn’t think of a better way of continuing my engineering career than going to FIU.

Why did you choose your major?
I chose my major because of my love for building new materials and math. I knew this was one of the few disciplines where I can get hands-on experience, build my own devices and get into an industry where I could learn more about engineering.

Did you always want to be an engineer?
I didn’t always want to be an engineer. I was originally a computer science major, then I switched to computer engineering. I found out that it wasn’t exactly my calling, but when I came across Mechanical Engineering I realized how it was something I am passionate about and how it would allow me to learn more about nanomaterials.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans leading up to and after graduation include applying for my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, applying for work in nanotechnology industries, continue to sharpen my research skills in nanotechnology, and pursue a career in developing and advancing the next generation of nanomaterials that can change people’s lives for the better!

What clubs, student organizations or extracurricular activities do you recommend or are you part of? Internships?
I am a proud student member of the Society of Women of Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, as well as FIU’s Student Support Services. Additionally, I am a FIU Ronald. E. McNair Scholar and have been a research intern for the Sciences Undergraduate Laboratory Internships with both Idaho National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). This Summer I will be starting a new research experience as an NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology Scholar with BNL. These organizations and societies have allowed me to grow as an individual and provided me multiple opportunities as a Black woman in STEM.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve experienced as an engineering student (so far)?
The most challenging thing I’ve experienced as an engineering student so far is time management. I had to do full time internships as well as full time coursework and find the time in between for myself.

What has been the most rewarding thing you’ve experienced as an engineering student (so far)?
The most rewarding thing as an engineer I have experienced so far is the growth as an undergraduate researcher. My internships and fellowships gave me the space to see myself as the professional I knew I could always become. These opportunities also helped me obtain so much knowledge and develop professional connections as a mechanical engineer.

Any advice to prospective students thinking of majoring in engineering?
Do not let your grades define you. You are more than just a letter grade, you are a hard worker and you are determined to succeed no matter what, just keep pushing and get opportunities outside of school.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a student?
“Use what you know to find out what you don’t know.” There are so many things in this world that we don’t know; however, using the pieces of information that you know you can let you figure out the pieces that you are missing.

If you could have lunch/dinner with a famous engineering pioneer, who would it be? Why?
I would like to have dinner with The American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Richard Feynman, who introduced the concept of nanotechnology in 1959. I would like to ask him the fundamental questions of Nanotechnology, and ask what he thinks the future of nanotechnology would bring us.

When you’re not an engineering student, what do you like to do?
When I am not an engineering student I like to watch anime and ice skate with my friends.

Would you like to share anything regarding your next chapter that you think is relevant and important?
One thing I would like to share regarding my next chapter is No matter how hard or impossible it is, never lose sight of your goal.