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Zimmerman, Christian

Major: 
Mechanical Engineering

What is the RISE area of interest during your first year and why?: 

My primary initial focus in the RISE program is research. A crucial lesson for anyone in a STEM leadership position is understanding that scientific and technological advancement is the culmination of the ebb and flow of research successes and failures. Research requires patience, persistence and a willingness to restructure one's hypothesis. The true scientist understands that experimental failure is actually an advancement in knowledge, prompting change and new discovery. By participating in research, I hope to grasp these principles.

What is the RISE area of interest during your second year and why?: 

During my second year in the RISE program, I hope to apply the principles learned from my first year of research and inspire others, through Instruction, to enter the STEM technology field. I intend to do this through presentations in high school science classes, community forums on solar energy technology and undergraduate scientific symposia. I have always been an advocate of leadership by example and hope that other aspiring students will feel the contagion of scientific intrigue in STEM fields.

What are your involvements and or extracurricular activities?: 

As an avid reader, I try to keep up to date on current topics in the scientific area, notably physics, engineering and environmental conservation. I am also active in the community, participating in non-profits such as Moveable Feast, providing meals to those with chronic diseases, FreeState Justice, a legal advocacy foundation, and the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, supporting organ donation and transplantation. I am a runner and cyclist (Baltimore Frontrunners, medalist Baltimore Runninng Festival). I am also a member of NOGLSTP (National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals) and recipient of a 2018 "Out to Innovate" scholarship.

What is your cool engineering experience?: 

My passion has always revolved around the wonder of how things worked. I recall building a hovercraft in physics class from foam, fans, sensors and a trash bag that followed a line of black tape. While simple in its elements and appearance, I was intrigued by complexity and interaction of the components to achieve the desired result. More recently, my intrigue has been focused on adapting biological mechanisms, developed over millions of evolutionary years to practical applications in mechanical engineering.