Benjamin Jeong is a dedicated student, and after the fall 2017 semester, he will be a Michigan Alumnus twice over. Currently working towards his Master of Engineering degree in Energy Systems Engineering, Benjamin earned his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2016.
Benjamin was born in Chicago, Illinois, but moved to Seoul, South Korea at the age of 3. In 2004, Benjamin returned to Illinois to attend Daniel Wright Junior High School and Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Through a class project – building a mini-golf course made out of recyclable materials – his interest in engineering sparked. As he put it, “I wanted to learn how things work.”
As an undergraduate student, Benjamin participated in many clubs and organizations, including the Rogel Scholar Society, BLUELab Biogas Digester, and the College of Engineering Peer Mentor Program. Involvement in these activities served a dual purpose: he was able to hone in on his interest in energy engineering, as well as create a community for himself on campus.
“Adjusting to campus was difficult at first because of how many people are in Ann Arbor,” Benjamin recalled. “Soon I realized you can find a group of people who you relate to and understand, and who share the same passions. When I found my group, it made this big campus smaller and more enjoyable.”
Through coursework, interactions with professors, and extracurricular activities, Benjamin recognized his interest in energy research, and knew ISD was the place to continue his education. “Energy is something that the entire world needs. It connects to all aspects of life,” says Benjamin. “The Energy Systems Engineering program allows me to go deeper in my technical knowledge through the engineering classes, but also wider in my understanding through economics, finance, policy, and other classes that I normally would be not be able to take.”This past summer, Benjamin worked as a Measurement Systems Design and Application intern for Consumers Energy, an opportunity which allowed him to travel all around Michigan to visit multiple natural gas plants. In January, Benjamin was named a 2017 Dow Sustainability Fellow. With such an impressive resume thus far, it’s no wonder Benjamin is excited about the future: “I’ve been loving my experience as an ISD grad student so far, and I can’t wait to see what the next year will hold for me.”