In the Make Space at Lassonde Studios, Tren Hirschi stands out not only as a leader but as an innovator and a source of inspiration for every student embarking on a journey of discovery and creativity.
As the chair of the Make program, Hirschi’s role transcends conventional leadership. He manages around 20 student leaders, fostering an environment where problems are seen as opportunities for innovation. His approach is not about micromanagement; it’s about empowering and enabling. Hirschi guides students in selecting the right tools for their projects, focusing on safety and feasibility while encouraging them to push the boundaries of possibility.
Hirschi’s time at Make Space has honed an invaluable skill: rapid prototyping. He describes his ability to conceptualize an idea, design it, and bring it to life within a day as something that is very valuable to him. This skill isn’t confined to academic projects; it’s foundational, feeding directly into his aspirations, such as working on NASA Rovers. Hirschi’s senior design project with the United States Olympic Committee, where he and his team developed a prototype to measure the force exerted by athletes, stands as a testament to his proficiency and efficiency.
Hirschi’s academic journey is as diverse as it is ambitious. In his fifth and final year at the University of Utah, he is double majoring in mechanical engineering and geology, with a minor in computer science. His aspirations are clear: to delve into simulations and work on cutting-edge technologies, like those used in NASA Rovers. Hirschi envisions a future where he can contribute to our understanding of extraterrestrial geology, particularly through technologies that analyze rock samples.
Hirschi’s internships at Sarcos Robotics and Teal Drones have significantly influenced his perspective and skills. At Sarcos, he was immersed in a world of innovative robotics, from exoskeletons to snake robots, while at Teal Drones, he worked on reconnaissance drones for the military, focusing on sensors and structural design. These experiences have not only broadened his technical acumen but also shaped his approach to teamwork and innovation.
Reflecting on his experience, Hirschi emphasizes the importance of continual learning, both in the Make Space and beyond. He believes in not pigeonholing oneself and advocates learning about as many topics as possible. This philosophy of broad learning has been a cornerstone of his success and is a message he passionately shares with fellow students.
As Hirschi prepares to graduate, he contemplates pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or entering the industry, particularly in fields like robotics or mechatronics. Regardless of the path he chooses, his journey at the Make Space and his diverse educational background have equipped him with the skills, knowledge, and perspective to excel in any endeavor.
For students at Lassonde and beyond, Hirschi is more than a leader; he’s a role model. His journey encourages students to explore, innovate, and dream without limits. As Hirschi continues to carve his path, his influence on the Make Space and its students will be a beacon of inspiration for those aspiring to make their mark in the world of engineering and beyond. Hirschi’s one final piece of advice for students is to “learn as much and as many topics as you can and shoot for the stars.”
Learn more about the Lassonde Make Space at lassonde.utah.edu/make.