Student Profile

Phil Schneider

PhD, Electrical Engineering, Expected 2018

MS, Electrical Engineering, 2016

BS, Electrical Engineering, 2014

“I know it sounds cliché but I really do believe that we all should be striving to better the world, and I try to do that through science.”
Phil Schneider, PhD Student
Electrical Engineering

Where are you from?
Williamsville, N.Y.

What made you choose UB?
I liked that it was close to home and that the electrical engineering department is in the top 25 percent in the nation. The large international population at UB also gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures. That's important to me because I see engineering as a global field.

Tell me about the Westminster initiative.
Once a month we go to Westminster Charter School and we bring different hands-on science experiments to teach the students the fundamentals of science, such as friction, structures, density, gravity, etc. I've done it for the past two years now and I led science experiments for the first grade class and the kindergarten class. Rather than learn from a text book, they get to learn by playing with stuff and having fun. So often science gets really boring and people think "I don't want to be a scientist because it's hard and boring." And this shows the exact opposite.

What do you like most about UB engineering?
I do like the people a lot, so that's part of the reason why I stay here. I had the opportunity to leave UB and go to a different school, but I really liked the people and the community I grew up with and that was a big influence for me to stay. I am a Teaching Assistant for EAS 140 and that was a very influential course for freshman engineers and I found that to be very fulfilling. I know all of the professors on a first name basis and I just feel that UB as a whole is a nice community for me.

What is your favorite place on campus?
The lab. I live in the lab. We just bought an air couch for it and have stock piles of candy so we make it enjoyable here.

What are you working on now?
Originally I started off with mircofluids, but then I did an internship with a company called Qualcomm where we worked on creating a new type of wearable sensor that can be placed on the arm to measure different types of vascular compliance features like heart rate and blood pressure. Qualcomm wanted to take this a step further and asked me to develop a way to test the new sensor and come up with way to validate the senor with a baseline. I'm creating a model that will mimic the human arm in terms of physiological and acoustical qualities.

What else do you do?
In addition to taking classes full time, I do research and I'm a teaching assistant. I started an extracurricular science program called Fun Inspiring Science (FIS), which is based off of Westerminster. We design experiments and then do a couple of hours with K-4th grade students. Our goal is to expose the kids to science and show them that they can have fun doing it. I'm also working on starting my own company as well.

What are you passionate about?
What my passion is and what drives me is the notion that I could possibly make a change in the world. I know it sounds cliché but I really do believe that we all should be striving to better the world, and I try to do that through science.