For those who know Julian Sanders, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that he is now working at Space X! Julian graduated from Westlake Academy in 2017 and is best known for his brilliant mathematical achievements. To imagine Julian anywhere else, well, it just doesn’t compute. A graduate of CalTech in Southern California, Julian holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He landed his dream job after graduation and is currently a hardware development electrical engineer at SpaceX working on a rocket called "Starship.” Designed for sending large payloads into orbit, landing humans on the moon, and missions to Mars Julian’s focus is on its batteries. Julian couldn’t share much more with us on his work at Space X because it’s confidential. In his spare time, Julian enjoys rock climbing. He has climbed Stoney Point Park, Point Dume, MalibuCreek Park and several mountains in the Angeles National Forest. When asked about his favorite memory at WA, Julian replied, “Forgive the nerdy answer, but doing my Math IA was actually really really fun. It was based on the YouTube channel 3blue1brown's video on the Brachistochrone. It's worth a watch!”
Looking to the future
Julian shared with us his thoughts for the future and how they relate to sustainability. Grid infrastructure innovation has not been a very active area of study for a long time, but it's getting a lot of attention these days. Why? There's this sense of urgency of transitioning to renewables not to mention the increased grid load of electric vehicle charging, and much research into autonomous control of complex systems. There's lots of technology and theory underlying the ways that our electrical grid will change in the coming years, and he feels it would be gratifying to be a part of it! There are many solutions being explored but Julian feels that easing integration of renewables into our power grid, thus reducing our burning of fossil fuels will ultimately reduce the long term humanitarian and economic costs of climate instability to people around the world. With this being one of the most important problems humanity is facing this century, it's nice to know Julian would like to be part of the solution.
Have you ever heard of Circuit Golf?
One of the most fun parts of circuit design according to Julian is finding a problem with a circuit, and devising the simplest, tiniest change you can make to solve it. It's a sort of design work that feels almost surgical. This game of achieving an effect using the smallest possible number of parts is sometimes referred to as "circuit golf". This, Julian believes, is what our power grid needs to become sustainable throughout the century - a change that will achieve great improvements in reliability resulting in as much renewable generation as possible. Nothing, Julian says, a lot of complex math can't solve!
Scarlet Ganesh not only graduated early from the University of Texas at Arlington but she already has a job secured with Charles Schwab in Westlake! In December, this class of 2015 graduate graduated a semester early with her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science.
When asked how an IB education prepared her for college, Scarlet said “...IB prepared me for college as it taught me how to be well-balanced and utilize my time management skills.”
Scarlet just began working for Charles Schwab as a Business System Analyst, where she uses her skills as a communicator to serve as a liaison between the business leaders and the programmers when working through data challenges.
Scarlet’s advice to current WA students? “It’s OK to fail, but never give up!”
Sophia Maas is a sophomore at New York University (NYU). Sophia has just begun NYU’s Undergraduate Leadership Honors Course Cohort for this Spring Semester, 2019. The program is very competitive and focuses on high-achieving sophomores who are good candidates for prestigious national and international post-graduate fellowships, scholarships and leadership programs.