My Path to SPOWER & Northeastern University

My name is Camara Johnson and I am a Masters student studying Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University. I am originally from Washington, DC.  I am the youngest of two and will be the first person in my immediate family to continue towards their graduate studies. My main motivation for engineering is that I would like to be able to help people.  My path to engineering has helped me build character. I received my undergraduate degree from Hampton University, a HBCU located in Hampton, VA. I graduated a year late and initially felt very insecure about it but if I had graduated on time I am almost certain I would not have ended up in Boston, let alone at such a good university as Northeastern.


I realized I wanted to go to graduate school during an REU I did one summer. I really enjoyed the research and class I took over those ten weeks. I loved working in the lab and working with my graduate student mentor. The graduate student that mentored me helped teach me a lot and I was able to have a better perspective for what graduate school might be like. I was really interested in the idea of being specialized in a certain topic.


What drew me to Northeastern out of the other graduate schools I was looking at was the SPOWER faculty. I met Prof. Minus and Dean Harris when they visited my school and signed up for the Northeastern visit shortly after. When myself and other students from Hampton came for a tour, our returning flight was cancelled and we ended up staying an additional two or three days. These extra days gave me a chance to see the city a little more and get a better feel for Boston. I really appreciated how helpful Claire, Brad, and Marilyn were to us and I really felt like they cared about our well being. Before coming to Northeastern I was pretty set on attending another graduate school, having already had 4 completed credits.


Graduate school has been an adjustment for me with the workload and moving to a new state. I have had great opportunities and this past summer was able to work as program assistant with the SPOWER REU program and thoroughly enjoyed working with the students. I was selected as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar and was able to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston which was a wonderful networking opportunity. I have been helping teach Robotics at an elementary school and this is helping me to become a more well rounded engineer. I am thankful for the experiences, friendships, and work relationships I have made during my time here and look forward to continuing to grow.

Summer 2018 Research Opportunity in Madrid, Spain

Juan Mesa (S-POWER)
Summer of 2018 was anything but normal. Thanks to Professor Laura Henderson Lewis, I was granted the opportunity to research and develop ferromagnetic micro-wires and glass coated micro-wires at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid. Micro-wires have proven promising for advanced applications in sensors and other methods of data transportation, and if successful, they could significantly increase the quality of electronic appliances used today.

During our free time, my research colleague Alex Jimenez and I were able to learn much about Spanish culture. We toured the beautiful city of Madrid, visited the Roman aqueduct and ate cochinillo in neighboring city Segovia, we explored the medieval city of Toledo, and celebrated el Festival de San Juan in the Mediterranean city of Malaga. All in all, it was a wonderful trip full of exciting research, beautiful scenery, amazing food, and incredibly smart and inspiring people. My time with the S-POWER program has been filled with opportunity and innovation so my hope is that the new group of S-POWER scholars pursue all kinds of research and growth opportunities during their time at Northeastern. I challenge them all to work hard and smart and to enjoy everything that helps advance their personal and professional growth.

Field Trip to Block Island

On July 25th, the Young Scholars (along with other groups such as the REUs, S-POWER, and ASME) took their last field trip down to Block Island in Rhode Island to take a tour of the wind farms. Wind farming is the grouping of wind turbines in an effort to generate electricity, and Rhode Island is home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm! While listening to a guided tour on the ferry, the YSPs learned about how the wind farms are comprised of 600 ft tall turbines that distribute power to over 21,000 homes through a transmission system that links a 28.1 mile cable between the island and mainland. The students even had the chance to explore the island and do some shopping as well as head to the beaches and lighthouse! It was a great way to take a break from the lab, while still making it an enjoyable learning experience.

S-POWER Students enjoying ferry to wind farm

YSPs enjoying the view

Exploring the lighthouse area

Students enjoying their tour of the wind farm