photo of Lucero Herrera

Major

Computational Engineering

Hometown 

Dubai, UAE

What aspect of computational engineering interests you most?

I'm an indecisive person. Where you'll see me in two years will be totally different than where I'll be in ten. And what really drew me to computational engineering is that it's a highly useful degree, but also not restricted to any one field. So, I might work for an energy company, or a pharmaceutical company, or an environmental agency. Knowing that I can go anywhere with this degree is very exciting.

Who has been your most influential COE, ASE or EM professor and why?

Dr. Connolly taught my EM 311: Dynamics course the second semester of my sophomore year. Dynamics was not my favorite subject. It still isn't, actually. I don't trust anything with the potential to move, including frisbees, insects, and spaceship problems. But Dr. Connolly is one of those people who genuinely wants you to learn. He's improved upon the way he's taught the course over the years, and taken into consideration the areas where his students has struggled, or he himself has struggled. And anybody who went to his office hours would know that he'll spend thirty minutes with you working through a problem if it means comprehension by the end. Lots of professors are good at research or good at lecturing, but Dr. Connolly's a great person and it makes all the difference.

What has been your favorite computationally based project?

In COE 111L: Engineering Computation Lab, our final project was ridiculous in the best way possible. It involved taking a huge amount of data collected on a rat's brain tumor, organizing it, and displaying said data in a way that was concise and readable. It took combining my programming skills, logic, higher level math, and a little bit of creativity to get the final product, which I think computational engineering is all about!

Has involvement in student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education? If so, how?

There are two organizations that absolutely have my heart: Engineering Ambassadors, and Computational Engineering Association.

I'm going on my second year as an Engineering Ambassador (EA) and it's been amazing. Myself and other EAs are involved with outreach opportunities around and through UT. For example, last year a few of us drove out to a local high school to talk about our experience as engineering students. I've also been a building coordinator for some of my favorite events, like Girl Day through the Women in Engineering Program. It's nice to take a break from my studies and interact with younger students. I find that their blind curiosity and enthusiasm reminds me why I'm here studying engineering.

I'm also Social Chair for Computational Engineering Association (CEA). This org is newer than the major but we're a group of very excited and motivated students looking to do projects and promote skills relevant to computational engineering. In my short time with CEA, I've learned a lot about running a new org, acquired zesty new computer programming knowledge, and hosted a social! CEA combines fun with practical, which I think is a nice balance.  

List three things that most people don't know about you.

  • I've blogged since I was thirteen and currently maintain a fashion/photography blog.
  • Coach Mack Brown personally recruited me my senior year to come to UT after I'd already decided to attend another university.
  • My dog (his name is By-Tor and he's a Maltese) and I have matching crop tops.