Welcome to Episode 005 – Engineering around COVID-19, where we discuss the vast array of adjustments and changes that students and professors have had to make amidst all of the uncertainty, changes, and closures resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic. We spotlight much of the outreach and empathy of students, as well as provide resources which will hopefully aid many in this time of social distancing. Feel free to provide your own here!


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Episode Contributors

This weeks episode of This Engineering Life features a Duke Professor and four Engineering Students who share how the changes Duke has made regarding COVID-19 have impacted their studies, and their lives:

Professor Nico Hotz, PhD – Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Nico Hotz specializes in interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology. His research focuses on heat, mass, and charge transfer on nano-scale surfaces for solar thermal applications, catalytic fuel reforming, hydrogen generation, fuel cells, and electrolysis.

Anuj Thakkar – Senior Mechanical Engineering Student

Anuj is a Senior Mechanical Engineering Student who speaks on the changes to his life in the past two weeks. He reflects on the effects that this has had on his major engineering projects, and as he is still located near campus his outlooks on how changing Duke will continue to effect him and his peers.

Aditi Pilani – Senior BME/ECE Student

Aditi is a Senior BME/ECE Student who was travelling around the Grand Canyon with spotty service during the COVID-19 announcements. She was originally in disbelief about the changes but has since adapted, sharing her experiences as a off-campus senior with many project based classes during this interesting moment in time.

Jackie Contento – Junior Biomedical Engineering Student

Jackie Contento and is a third-year student at Duke University. She is currently majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in chemistry. She was abroad with a friend in Ireland and returned home directly to RDU. She moved everything out of her dorm with a days notice and speaks on this experience as well as her upsetting feelings towards the changes to Duke classes.

Kaijie Chen – Senior Mechanical Engineering Student

Kaijie is a Mechanical Engineer who hopes to use entrepreneurship to change the world. He studies Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerospace engineering. He was on Spring Break in Boston, and he came back to a changed Duke. He is having to head back to China because of the outbreak, and shares his experiences about this changing world.

View Bonus Audio Clips

Bonus Audio Clips:

Interview with Aditi Pilani:
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Interview with Jackie Contento:
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Interview with Kaijie Chen:
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Interview with Professor Nico Hotz, PhD:
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Episode Closing Comments:
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