Mechanical engineering student Tim Adams dives into robotics with encouragement from Dr. Zhu.
Navigating the college years can feel like winding through a maze. For mechanical engineering major Tim Adams, though, a maze is helping him find his way. Literally.
“I took a robotics course as an elective this year, and as a project for the course I designed, built and programmed a robot that could navigate a maze,” Adams said, noting how much he relished the chance to expand his education.
“As a mechanical engineer, I normally don’t get the chance to dive into software development. I got to see that side of things and come to learn and understand it. There was a big learning curve there, but it was a great experience for me.”
Adams, who is also a member of the Wilkes chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, credits Dr. Yong Zhu with helping him succeed beyond his comfort zone.
Says Dr. Zhu: “I always try to make myself available to students, and Tim is always coming into my office to talk to me about his project. Just the other day he asked me to make sure to talk to security so he could get into the robotics lab on the weekend, so he could work on projects even when I’m not here.”
Adams, of Drexel Hill, Pa., makes the most of Dr. Zhu’s encouragement, advice and freedom. “I don’t think I would have gotten the same opportunities for hands-on learning at another school,” Adams says. He cites Wilkes’ one-on-one mentoring and small classes.
“I think when you have larger labs with larger groups of students, often times the students aren’t able to be hands-on. They can only sit and watch. I really believe that you learn by doing, and that’s something that Wilkes has offered me that a lot of other schools couldn’t. Here, you learn by doing.”