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Esther Chan Will Head to UC San Diego in the Fall to Study Mechanical Engineering

The former Woodside High School graduate will pursue a career in sustainable energy.

When Esther Chan graduated from Woodside High School three years ago, she hadn’t settled on a college major. “I came to Cañada because I didn’t feel right going to a four-year school without a real sense of what I wanted to do.”

It’s safe to say Esther found her direction at Cañada. She met Amelito Enriquez, professor of engineering and mathematics, who set her on a course to study mechanical engineering. She also received the support of Cathy Lipe, the director of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement Program. “I can’t imagine where I would be without them,” she said. “I am so appreciative of everything they have done for me. They are the best team any engineering student can have. You can tell that they really care about the students. I am going to miss them so much next fall.”

Esther is headed to UC San Diego where she eventually wants to earn a PhD. “I am very interested in the work being done in developing sustainable energy solutions and I would love to do research on sustainable energy as a career.”

Last fall, Esther was one of three Cañada students selected to present original research at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers conference in Anaheim. They were the only community college students chosen to present. It was Chan’s first time presenting at a conference. Her presentation was a summary of the research completed by a group of Cañada students who participated in a summer NASA internship.

"My group completed research on creating a data logger from a printed circuit board that records pressure and temperature changes due to magnets implanted inside a patient with a hollow chest condition. The magnets gradually pull the sternum outwards to realign with the ribcage, and the data logger is designed to monitor subtle changes within the patient in real time."

Esther said the opportunity to present her research at a national conference was made possible because of Cañada. “There is no better choice than Cañada,” she said. “You get a genuine sense of community from students who are motivated and friendly and receive a great education from professors who care about their students. It’s true, from here, you can go anywhere.”

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