Kai Anderson


Kilauea, Kauai HI


BS Mechanical Engineering
MS Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

In essence I was attracted to Oregon Tech for its small size and excellent student/faculty ratio. I grew up on an island and attended a school with just over 100 students covering 7th-12th grade. My graduating class numbered 18 and the thought of jumping to a school with a student population approaching that of my home island and class sizes exceeding my entire school seemed... less than stellar. Decision made!

What do you like best about your major?

I like that students are encouraged to get dirty. One of my first classes here was an intro to machining, where I learned my way around the machine shop and its two workhorses: the manual mill and lathe. Books and calculations are fun too, but the magic really starts to happen when you begin to make the connection between theory and practice, which requires experience with both.

What clubs or activities are you involved with?

I have predominantly been involved with the SAE Club and Formula SAE Senior Project, with the yearly goal of attending an international competition with our student designed and built Formula race car. For the three-going-on-four years that I have been involved, I have seen and helped the team grow from a fledgling hopeful to the multi-talented, innovative competitor it has become. This project is all encompassing, meaning I have experienced the design and manufacture of multiple systems on the car, including chassis, suspension, and aerodynamics. I have also had the pleasure of working with students from other majors like electrical engineering and embedded systems engineering, as well as gained management and marketing knowledge through my leadership of the team and our sponsor relations. Priceless.

What career do you hope to have after you graduate from Oregon Tech?

My  skill sets and background lend themselves well towards a motorsports related work environment. Straight out of school I think IndyCar, the definitive American open wheel racing class is achievable. Formula 1, often referred to as the pinnacle of motorsport, may have to wait a few years yet...

What would you say to the donor or donors who support Oregon Tech. What does their support mean to you?

I would give them all a big hug! Seriously though, so many valuable opportunities have presented themselves as a result of our many supporters, speaking from my Formula experience. The big question is always "what can we give back?" to these often large companies that seem to have it all. I think the answer is to use what they give you to become a better engineer, and keep in mind the support they gave so that you may do the same for future students one day when you are in a position to do so.

How do you want to impact the lives of other people in the future?

I would like to be an inspiration to others to keep learning and to always strive to be better: at your profession, at loving, and at being a responsible, decent human being.