The sweet smell of barbecue wafted over the EQuad as new undergraduates and first-year graduate students gathered at welcoming events at the School of Engineering and Applied Science this week.
While new graduate students kicked off their studies with a Sept. 13 barbecue, students and members of the engineering faculty gathered beneath a tent in the Friend Center courtyard on Monday, Sept. 12, to welcome members of the Class of 2020 to the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
“Engineering is science in service to humanity,” Emily Carter, the dean of engineering, told the new students in her welcoming address. “So you have the opportunity as future engineers to make a huge difference in the lives of people all over the world.”
The incoming class has 343 members of whom 120, or 35 percent, are women. The engineering undergraduates represent 26 percent of the incoming Princeton Class of 2020. In her address, Carter urged the students to take advantage of the engineering school’s position as part of a great liberal arts university, and she asked them to be mindful of ways to apply what they learn.
“There are many opportunities for you to learn and get involved in the challenges of our time, everything from how we get the planet off of fossil fuels to global health to preserving the environment to security issues,” she said.
Following the welcome from Carter and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs Peter Bogucki, the class heard presentations from each of the school’s six departments as well as from representatives of engineering-related student organizations. The students were then joined by juniors and seniors who escorted them to group meetings with their new faculty advisors.
The next day, Carter, the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied and computational mathematics, also welcomed new graduate students to the school. This year, 148 graduate students joined the engineering school’s six departments.
Speaking to the assembled students, Antoine Kahn, the Stephen C. Macaleer ’63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and vice dean of engineering, recalled the excitement and fascination of his first days as graduate student at Princeton in the 1970s.
“There is no way to predict what the world will be like in 40 years but you are the people who are going to work on this evolution,” he said. “You will change the world.”