Engineering the Leaders of the Future

Get to know the 2010-11 Engineering Student Council Executive Leadership

The Engineering Student Council (ESC) is a talented group of student leaders in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering who represent and advocate for the undergraduate engineering student body.  ESC not only has a strong presence in the Samueli School and on the UC Irvine campus, but also works diligently “behind the scenes,” coordinating the annual campus celebration of National Engineers Week (E-Week), the popular EngiTECH Career Fair with local industry, managing the Discover Research and Industry programs, holding fun student events such as "E-Prom," and even organizing student-faculty coffee breaks to promote open dialogue in a more informal atmosphere.

ESC students work tirelessly to improve the undergraduate experience for Samueli School engineering students while keeping up with their challenging classes, vigorous study schedules, and community involvement.

ESC’s mission is to provide leadership opportunities, assistance, and support for engineering student organizations, promote extracurricular communication among students, faculty, alumni, and industry, and foster the continual improvement of engineering education and professionalism within the Samueli School and the University.  

The student group was awarded three 2010 Anteater Awards by the Office of the Dean of Students. ESC won honors for Best T-Shirt, Best Annual Program (E-Week), and Most Outstanding Student Organization (out of over 500 campus clubs and organizations). The three awards were the most won by any student organization on campus this year and the most won in any year in ESC history.

Want to get involved and learn more?  Get to know ESC’s 2010-11 Executive Committee:

Jessie Chen


Hometown:  Fullerton, CA

Year in School:  Graduating Senior

Major:  Civil Engineering

Area(s) of Interest:  Structural engineering and urban planning

Why Engineering: I want to be an engineer because I believe that engineering is one of the fundamental ways to make a difference in the world.  We depend on structures - not only to house and protect us from the open world, but also to navigate through it.  As engineers, we are able to come together to renew and create these structures for our future.  I also believe that as an engineer it is important to not only genuinely understand the communities we are building for, but also relate with the people that reside in these communities.  

Fun fact: Although I'm studying engineering, I have a passion for the arts, as well. 

Matthew Tran

Vice President of External Affairs

Hometown: El Monte, CA

Year in School:  Graduating Senior

Major: Aerospace Engineering / Materials Science

Area(s) of Interest: Alternative energies, advanced material composites

Why Engineering:  It is the combination of analyzing situations, learning new things, and finding creative solutions to complex problems that made me want to go into engineering. I am a firm believer in the ability of engineers to directly impact and improve society, and I could never go into a career where I didn't have a positive effect on others.

Fun fact:  I was named after the owner of a local chain of Asian supermarkets.

Kevin Afan

Vice President of Internal Affairs

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Year in School: Graduating Senior

Major: Chemical Engineering

Area(s) of Interest: Biopharmaceuticals, wastewater treatment, environmental engineering.

Why Engineering:  Stemming from a strong liking for math and sciences and a continual search to challenge myself, I found chemical engineering as a fitting career path. I intend to apply my studies and experiences to improve the quality of life for the less fortunate in underdeveloped countries and disadvantaged parts of the world.

Fun Fact:  I enjoy hip-hop culture and the expressive art of “b-boying.”

Christina Amato

Vice President of Finance

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA

Year in School: Junior    

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Area(s) of Interest: Biomaterials, nanotechnology

Why Engineering: My dad is an engineer, but I wanted to be a biomedical engineer in order to help those with various medical conditions be able to improve their lives with technology. I want to be able to create a better standard of life for those with chronic diseases or those who have lost control of their limbs.

Fun fact: I love Disneyland and go there almost every weekend.

Rebecca Shum

Vice President of Communications

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

Year in School: Graduating Senior

Major: Civil Engineering

Area(s) of Interest: Structural and highway engineering

Why Engineering: I had been taking art classes ever since I was young and I really wanted to become an architect.  I have always been good at math so my mom suggested I study civil engineering.  Now that I am in my fourth year of college, I don't see myself doing anything else.  I love what I'm studying and my internship ensures that I am definitely in the right field.  Besides, civil engineers are always needed in this world.

Fun fact:  My family owns five silver Japanese cars.  It's pretty awesome when we all park at home.