The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU senior aspires to make the world a better place

Andrew Takacs, mechanical engineering major, aims to work in renewable energy
Andrew+Takacs+posing+for+a+headshot.
COURTESY OF ANDREW TAKACS
Andrew Takacs posing for a headshot.

Andrew Takacs, senior mechanical engineering major, used to annoy his parents with his constant questions and deconstruction of household items.

“I was always the kid who asked too many questions to the point where it bothered my parents,” Takacs said. “I always liked to stick my hand out the window and say, ‘Hey, why does it feel weird when I hold my hand vertically rather than flat?’ Then, I’d always take things apart. I took TV remotes apart, speakers apart, just about anything I could get my hands on.”

His interest in and drive to find out how things work did not change as he made his way to WSU.

Nandita Biswas, mechanical engineering scholarly professor, said Takacs has been a frequent visitor to her office hours and always has a new question.

“He is a curious student who wants to learn the material in-depth,” she said. “He always had follow-up questions about the content. He explored out-of-the-box ideas and the feasibility of those ideas.”

Having developed that interest over time, he knew what he wanted to study at WSU. He said he took a nontraditional route through college, doing running start during the pandemic and expediting his learning.

By the time he came to Pullman, he had already completed Calculus 4. Due to his advanced learning in math, he ended up taking senior-level mathematics at the same time as introductory anthropology during his first semester.

Bringing over so many credits, he said he wanted to take the opportunity of an “easier” workload to get involved on campus.

“It gave me a lot of leeway to focus on other things throughout WSU. So, I was involved with undergraduate research, volunteering, my fraternity, internships and I’m currently a TA,” he said.

Takacs said he is a firm believer in trying new things, which is why he has taken every opportunity given to him, including becoming an executive board member of his fraternity, Sigma Chi, and eventually becoming the scholarship chairman. He even became a DJ for the fraternity’s parties.

He described himself as someone who keeps pushing. No matter what tasks life throws at him, he pushes forward and makes the most of all the opportunities he has been lucky enough to receive.

COURTESY OF ANDREW TAKACS
Andrew Takacs at a Kids’ Science and Engineering Day.

Despite all his involvement, he said few things stand out more than his volunteering experience with Kids’ Science and Engineering Day.

KSED is an annual event that offers students in grades K-5 a look into basic science and engineering principles through hands-on activities, according to the WSU Society of Women Engineers’ website.

Takacs volunteers with KSED because he said he has the free time and sees the value in helping out the next generation of engineers, with the event being one of his favorite memories during his time at WSU.

“It’s definitely a highlight of the year,” Takacs said.

Biswas said one of the most critical aspects in the field Takacs plans to enter is working well with others and it has been something he’s developed through his volunteer experience.

“He is a very responsible, kind, friendly and respectful individual. He pays attention to detail and is great in teamwork [situations],” Biswas said. “In the mechanical engineering field, the ability of critical thinking and being a team player is very important to be successful. He has those qualities.”

Takac’s goal is to work in a field with renewable energy, as he said he wants to get past the reputation that mechanical engineers have. 

“My dream is ultimately to make the world a better place,” Takacs said. “One thing I fear is there are mechanical engineers who have a reputation for working on weapon systems. It’s a very valid field and we definitely need it, but it’s not for me.”

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.