For Tau Bate Raymond L. Turrisi, RI B ’22, pursuing the field of engineering required a lot of thought and consideration. He was the first in his family to attend college and wanted to be sure that he made the most of that opportunity.
He selected the University of Rhode Island (URI) because it had a ‘small feel’ according to Ray, and he had more access to his professors compared to a larger university. Throughout his five years at URI, he found plenty of opportunities to connect with not only his professors but with graduate students and research labs as well. He joined the URI Hydrorobotics team, the Smart Oceans Systems Lab, the URI Engineering Capstone Design Program, and was selected as a Barry Goldwater scholar.
As vice president of the RI Beta Chapter of TBP, he organized tutoring for more than 70 students. He wanted to test himself in communicating and presenting what he’d learned in his courses more broadly. He is graduating this May with dual degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science, and minors in mathematics and robotics.
This year, he was awarded a TBP Fellowship for graduate studies and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in oceanography and applied ocean science and engineering at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program, in the departments of mechanical engineering and applied ocean physics and engineering.
“I’ve always thought that being an engineer empowers us with the tools and knowledge to synthesize and take our ideas to scale – developing solutions to problems which can be truly transformative to large populations,” says Turrisi. “This was a major reason for wanting to be an engineer. It is a challenging program, but it’s easy to find the motivation and enjoy the creative processes when you can see the impact your work will have.”