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Engineering Student Profile

Daniel Salgado Tunay is a 22 year old Mechanical Engineering Senior in The College of Science and Engineering.

He is currently a member of Design Team ME 12.6, which is working on creating a more efficient cooking exhaust fan system for Seattle University.

Please tell us about your background:

I’m a Seattle native with a Filipino ethnic background. I am a Filipino-American. My mother is from Manila City, Philippines and my father is from Cavite City, Philippines.

Please tell us about your path to becoming an engineer:

When my father was in college, his family wasn’t wealthy. His parents tried to support three college students on only one income, which came from his father as a barber. He, being the youngest of the three children in college, had to sacrifice his education in hopes of finishing later after his siblings have graduated. So due to financial reasons, he had to withdraw from college. Life took its course and he did not return to get his degree. The fact that he was not able to finish his degree helped fuel my desire for getting my mechanical engineering degree but was not the main reason for wanting the degree. I was initially inspired to become a civil engineer, but due to a series of what I like to call “happy accidents,” I ended up on the mechanical engineering path. I then found an interest in HVAC and plan on pursuing a career in this field. In a way, it seems that I’m finishing something that my father has started, but in the end, he only wanted me to do what I wanted to do and would have been proud of me regardless of what I chose to do in my life.

What, if any, challenges have you encountered as you journeyed through your college career and worked to graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering?

There are too many to count. One major one was developing myself into better student while also experiencing “the college life”. Another was finding something that I was interested in. I’m a firm believer that it’s more important to find something that you’re interested in and you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come, rather than just finding something that you’re good at.

Please tell us what you enjoy about the project you are working on now and if you feel it provided you with valuable experiences that you can take with you into your future career:

I enjoy the fact that we were placed into a team that we aren’t used to working with in the past. It benefits students, because in the workplace, you’ll be exposed to people that you’ve never worked with before. Communication and teamwork skills are developed as a result. Specific to our project, this project has applied theoretical ideas from Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, Circuits, and HVAC taught in past classes to a tangible situation, which definitely increases understanding of the subjects. Also, this project has exposed each of the team members to industry professionals, something that not all of us were used to before but may definitely benefit us in the future.

Please add anything else you think is interesting, fun or relevant to your personal story.

The main thing that I learned on my mechanical engineering path was that persistence goes a long way in achieving success.

The Project Center

The year-long senior design project through the SU Project Center strengthened the critical thinking skills I developed in classes to solve a real world problem. Constructing real-world deliverables helped to enhance my communications skills which are critical when pursuing a career in engineering.

- Chris Stoll, Civil and Environmental Engineering alumni, class of ‘08