Some Mudders’ Summers

Hi all,

Long time no see! Mudd’s back in full swing, and it’s taken a bit of time to get into the rhythm of things after summer, but now it’s time for your regularly programmed admissions blogs. In this first post I want to take a bit of time to reflect on what Mudders did this past summer. Some ventured to industry, others pursued researched, and yet others explored Netflix. But all Mudders found something that made their summers relaxing and rewarding. In this blog I’m going to share with you what I did this summer and what some of my friends did with theirs, hope you enjoy!


Charlee Van Eijk ’18

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Charlee sitting on a dock, holding a robot underwater in one hand

That’s me btw. I spent the summer doing research at the Lab for Intelligent and Autonomous Robotics. I worked with four other engineers in the shark tracking division, developing and implementing improved algorithms used to track sharks off the California coastline. Working on underwater robotics has been a challenging but rewarding experience, and I see myself using the knowledge I gained from it wherever I go, whether that’s graduate school or industry.

Viviana Bermudez ’18

Fulsom, California

A group selfie in front of Chicago's fampus "bean"

Viv’s in the middle.

This summer, I interned with Accenture Consulting in Sacramento, CA as a Consulting Analyst Intern. I worked in the Health & Public Services sector on the CalHEERS project which maintains the Covered CA web application. Throughout the summer, I learned about project and release management, as well as production monitoring and automation. Just like Mudd, the best part about the summer was the amazing people and the memorable experiences we shared!

Kyla Scott ’18

Irvine, CA

Kyla's research group poses with safety glasses

Kyla’s well hidden. Top left.

This summer I did research with the Laspa group at UNSW in Sydney, Australia. We made and tested some high entropy metal alloys that had never been made before. Being involved in such a new field was an amazing experience, because everything that we did had potential for new discoveries. I also just had a terrific time exploring Sydney with my group members. After Mudd, I would like to get a job in the engineering industry, and hopefully I can apply what I’ve learned about materials.

Bryce Murley ’18

Honolulu, Hawaii

Four students hold a small rocket

Far right.

This summer I worked at Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, AZ. I was doing performance engineering on gas turbine engines (basically modeling the engine as a whole system and finding ways to make it better). I really enjoyed thermodynamics classes at Mudd (E82 and E134) and this job let me see how that type of engineering is applied in an industry as huge as the aerospace industry. I’m still not sure exactly what I want to do in the future.

Kristin Lie ’18

Bellevue, Washington

Kristin and a friend sit with bright yellow hard hats on.


This summer I worked on the De Pietro Fellowship team, which conducts performance-based testing on large concrete dams. My summer research had a little bit of everything– fieldwork, meeting with dam owners, and running analysis in our lab. I enjoyed the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned in classes like Dynamics and Advanced Systems (i.e. Big Stems) to real-world problems. While I don’t think dams are in my future, I definitely enjoyed the vibrational dynamics side of my research and am planning to pursue that next year, either in the aerospace industry or grad school.

Chris Kotcherha ’18

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Chris holds a prototype

This summer I interned as a controls engineer at Hyperloop-One, an LA-based startup creating the first ‘hyperloop’ transportation system meant to disrupt means of transport across the world. I worked on developing controllers and test rigs for experimental levitation systems, while also quickly delivering code needed for the company’s critical vehicle testing at their ‘DevLoop’ 1km full-vacuum test site in the Nevada desert. (We hit over 190 mph in initial tests using novel linear induction motors in vacuum.) I’m interested in exiting ‘future tech’ so a new 5th mode of transportation is really something I’d like to work on in the future. Either that or Mars-bound rockets.

Computer Science

Paa Kofi Sekyi-Appiah ’18

Accra, Ghana

Kofi poses in front of the Lyft sign at their headquarters in San Francisco

This past summer I worked at Lyft HQ in San Francisco as a Software Engineering Intern. I mostly worked on developing and maintaining internal tools used by co-workers and stakeholders within the company. Although the work environment was very fast-paced, I saw that as an opportunity to learn and grow more. It was a very positive experience and one that can make me see myself working in the tech industry in the near future.

Kevin Bengtsson ’18

Sao Paolo, Brazil

A headshot of Kevin

This past summer I worked with the Visceral Games team at Electronic Arts in Redwood Shores, CA on a currently untitled Star Wars console game. Although I can’t tell you any more details about the project, I can say that it was an amazingly rewarding experience to directly contribute gameplay elements to a game that will be played by hundreds of thousands if not millions of gamers. I love writing code when I can visibly see my work, and there’s no better way to experience that than seeing your work in the video game and play it! As for the future, I’m still not sure—whether I go back to game development or not remains to be seen.


John Jeang ’19

Baltimore, Maryland

John with his chemistry students

Cheesin hard in the middle.

This summer i worked in Houston as a chemistry teacher for underprivileged students. After doing that for 2 months i worked (in Rockville, MD, my hometown) for 2 weeks at the local college as a physics teacher. Both opportunities were great and I think gave me a taste of what it would be like to teach. My future goal is to be a professor and to get more involved in research.


Grant Murray ’18

Baltimore, Maryland

Grant looks up at the sky pensively from a boat

Silicon based solar cells are expensive and energy intensive tocreate. Thin film photovoltaics are cheaper and require less energy to make. Our lab uses earth abundant chemicals to synthesize thelead sulfide quantum dot light absorption layer. These ultra thin cells have potential to be manufactured to cover large flexible areas. My work this summer focused on synthesizing and laying films of lead sulfide quantum dots onto zinc oxide coated glass substrates via a spin coating technique. We constructed the most efficient solar cells ever produced in the Van Rsywyk lab.


Moira Dillon ’18

Chicago, Illinois

Moira standing on a bridge over a river

This past summer, I worked with Professor Schulz in the Biology Department at HMC. Our lab studies the parasite T. brucei, which is the causative agent of African Sleeping Sickness, a disease typically fatal if left untreated. The parasite is transmitted via the bite of a tsetse fly into the bloodstream of mammals. Our lab focuses on how the parasites transition between living in the fly and living in a mammal, as these two environments are very different. The lab hopes to develop gene therapies to control this transition.