Posted May 11, 2011

High school science fair leads to engineering success

Ryan S. Brandenberg / Temple University

Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Sudarshan Kandi was the first recipient of the Temple University/George Washington Carver Science Fair Academic Tuition Scholarship. A resident of Northeast Philadelphia who has attained a 3.97 GPA, Kandi is also the recipient of the John L. Rumpf Award, for outstanding students with potential for success in engineering. Following graduation, Kandi will go to work as an associate system performance engineer for Verizon Wireless.

Temple Times: How did you become interested in science and engineering?

SK: My mother is a chemistry teacher, my father is a mechanical engineer and my sister is getting her Ph.D. in pharmacology. In my family, it’s almost a no-brainer that you are going to pursue a career in science or engineering.

TT: What was it like participating the George Washington Carver Science Fair in high school?

SK: It was a great experience. I participated as a high school sophomore and won in 11th grade. It sparked an interest in me to explore new things and not take defeat as a stopping point. It also led me to the Temple University/George Washington Carver Science Fair Scholarship.

TT: How important was the Temple/Carver Scholarship in choosing Temple?

SK: The financial considerations were a big concern and the scholarship really helped. I had acceptances to Drexel, Penn State and Temple, but the first two schools didn’t offer any financial assistance.

TT: What has your experience been like at Temple?

SK: It has been phenomenal. I have gotten to experience undergraduate research and undergraduate life and I’ve really gotten a lot of great experience outside the classroom.

TT: What was your favorite class?

SK: “Data and Computer Communications,” which teaches you how to apply what you’ve learned to professional work. The course gave me a foundation that I’ll be able to apply when I get to my job at Verizon.

TT: What role has Carver Science Fair founder and chairman Tom Anderson played in your Temple success?

SK: Mr. Anderson really gave me the push that I needed to go into engineering. He helped me get the scholarship and that put Temple on my list. Since I arrived at Temple, he has been in constant touch with me and I get a lot of inspiration from him.

TT: You’ve assisted in the Carver Science Fair while a student at Temple. What has that been like?

SK: It was a self-realization moment for me. Mr. Anderson put me in touch with a home-schooled student who was going to the Delaware Valley Science Fair. I thought, “Okay, four years ago I was in his position,” and I could see the amount of learning I had done at Temple and how my thinking had changed.

— Preston M. Moretz