Exploring Problems Without Obvious Answers

Declan Mulroy joined Illinois Institute of Technology as an undergraduate student, transferring from Oakton Community College.

As an undergraduate student, Mulroy joined a research project developing soft robotic systems that was a collaboration between Associate Professor Ankit Srivastava’s Wave Lab and Professor Matthew Spenko’s Robotics Lab. He then ended up continuing for his four years as a Ph.D. student.  

“It taught me how to explore and learn about areas I’m unfamiliar with and how to solve complex problems that don’t always have an obvious answer,” he says.

Mulroy says he enjoyed the culture of Illinois Tech, including the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering, specifically. He found professors easy to talk to and enjoyed connecting with students from all over the world. 

“Illinois Tech is approximately two by four city blocks, but you can find the same opportunities, or sometimes even more, that you would at larger institutions. You have easy access to opportunities and resources, even as an undergrad, such as research labs and machine shops,” he says.

After graduating, Mulroy joined Northrop Grumman, where he works as a principal systems engineer.  

“My work focuses on simulations of systems and control systems. I enjoy working on complex systems, which I get to do on a daily basis,” he says.

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