photo of marcos botto tornielli

Marcos Botto Tornielli


Computational Engineering


Bahia Blanca, Argentina and Houston, TX

What aspect of computational engineering interests you most?

I am excited by the fact that due to constant advances in high-performance computing technology, computational engineering is a developing field with a bright future.

What has been your biggest reward while pursuing your computational degree at UT?

It has been very rewarding to be able to access the supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to run code for classes and research. TACC has some truly amazing resources and it is a huge privilege to not only learn about these high-performance computers in classes but also to have direct access to them.

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

I have had several influential professors, but the first instructor who expanded my perspective on COE is Charlie Dey, who teaches the COE TACC courses. Charlie's enthusiasm for high-performance computing inspired me to look more into this field. Through his teaching, I not only learned valuable skills that I regularly use in my other classes and research, but also gained a better understanding of the many real-world applications of scientific computing.

What has been your most influential COE, ASE or EM course and why?

Other than the TACC courses which I previously mentioned, my most influential course has been COE 352, taught by Dr. Trahan. The combination of applied math and programming in this class was highly engaging and really gave me an understanding of the broad scope of COE. It was really informative to hear about how the concepts we learned are actually applied by engineers when they develop code for research and industry.

What has been your favorite computationally based project?

I really enjoyed the final assignment of COE 352, which was to program a 1D finite element solution to the heat equation. Even though on paper this assignment seemed like a simple example case, in reality it was a rewarding challenge that brought together a variety of concepts that I had learned in the class and throughout my time as a COE student.

How has being involved with student groups and/or organizations made a difference in your education?

I have enjoyed my involvement in student orgs such as SEC and the Association of Computational Engineers because it has made me more aware of the interests, concerns and issues of the UT engineering community as a whole. Also, volunteering for outreach events through EOE where I get to communicate my enthusiasm for COE to prospective students has really motivated me as a COE student.

How do you plan to use your COE degree in the future?

I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in computational science and engineering and then go on to work as a research and development engineer in industry.

If you participated in study abroad, please include a brief description about your experience.

I did the Summer 2019 Maymester for Engineering Communications in Milan, Italy. I really enjoyed the varied experiences that Milan had to offer, such as a free outdoor concert by the orchestra of the famous Teatro alla Scala. Having to adapt to a different culture really enhanced the lessons learned from Engineering Communications and helped the course to be more personally meaningful.

Where is your favorite place to study?

My favorite place to study is the EER because it has lots of open space and many different areas to choose from.

What are some things you really enjoy about living in Austin, TX?

My favorite experiences in Austin have been exploring the music and arts the city has to offer. Since UT offers so many concerts, I can choose to enjoy music ranging from jazz to classical at walking distance from where I live or branch out and discover other locations around the city.

List three things that most people don't know about you.
  • I was born in Argentina and my family moved to the U.S. when I was five years old.
  • I am really passionate about music and I love to play the guitar and sing.
  • I can speak Spanish and French.