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Aaron M.

Senior, BS in Chemical Engineering

WPI's project-based curriculum has had a substantial impact on Aaron’s education, not only teaching him how the real world works, but letting him explore it, too.

“In real world careers, you need to understand more than just textbook material,” says Aaron. “You need to have excellent teamwork and communication skills to work with others both on your team and outside of it, and WPI teaches you how to do that.”

During Aaron’s Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), he worked with Service Dining Rooms (SDR), a soup kitchen in the Central Business District in Cape Town, South Africa, using those abilities to make a positive change and visit a beautiful country he hopes to visit again some day.

Now, for his Major Qualifying Project (MQP), Aaron will be heading to work with the Ngāti Kea Ngāti Tuara people in New Zealand to focus on two major tasks: 1) designing a greenhouse to serve as a nursery for native trees and 2) implementing a solution to the intake congestion problem challenging the village’s micro hydro turbine system.

Aaron McGinnis

Crossnore, NC

Faculty Mentor

Stephen Kmiotek, Chemical Engineering, Professor of Practice

  • Maintaining a 4.0 GPA since freshman year, including his “most challenging and proudest ‘A’” from Professor Dixon's Applied Mathematics of Chemical Engineering Class
  • Obtaining an internship/co-op with ExxonMobil in Baytown, Texas, working with polymers
  • Resident Advisor
  • Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity
  • African Percussion and Dance Ensemble
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Ping Pong Club

Wake up and head to class


Spend a couple of hours at the gym


Eat lunch and take a quick nap before I head to classes in the afternoon


Attend clubs/meetings or study until dinner at the Pulse on Dining Marketplace (POD), followed by more clubs/meetings


I’ll do homework and study before I go to sleep around 2:00 a.m., and then repeat the next day – but there's definitely some fun/goofing off in between all of that :)

I simply love the people at WPI. My friends at WPI are friends I'll never lose. Plus, they're also typically engineers with good heads on their shoulders.
Project experience gives WPI graduates a resume boost and key talking points in interviews. Some of the projects are very impressive, and WPI projects help you get internships/co-ops that lead to full-time jobs.
If you want to gain meaningful project experience abroad and develop both as a student and a person, choose WPI. If you want to be in a respectful community that encourages you to be involved in one or more of 200+ clubs and organizations, choose WPI.