CENG Student Spotlight: Max Lewter

Biomedical engineering student Max Lewter holds up part of his exoskeleton project.
Biomedical engineering student Max Lewter holds up part of his exoskeleton project.

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO

What made you choose engineering? 

I love the process of taking on difficult challenges and figuring out practical and realistic solutions to them. I feel like engineering has the ability to make direct impacts on people’s lives, and I get to see that often, especially through clubs like EMPOWER, where we build prosthetics and other devices for members of the community. The combination of making a tangible impact on people and the enjoyable process of problem-solving makes engineering a perfect field of study for me.  

What is your favorite place in San Luis Obispo County and why? 

My favorite place in San Luis Obispo County is Montana De Oro (MDO). I love being outdoors, whether it be mountain biking, running or hiking, and MDO is perfect for this. The views are gorgeous and there are several miles of trails to enjoy. I have lots of memories of going there with friends, watching the stars and (occasionally) crashing on my mountain bike. 

What was your earliest engineering project? 

My earliest engineering project outside of Cal Poly was when I was 12 and working with LEGO Mindstorms, which were little robots that you could build and program. I made one in the shape of a bulldozer and had a blast programming it to push around random stuff in the house.  

Where do you like to hang out on campus? 

You can almost always find me in the TECHE Lab. The seating is comfortable, there’s plenty of outlets and people are always working on interesting and novel ideas, which helps to keep the energy high. It is also where my favorite club, EMPOWER, meets on a weekly basis. 

What are your hobbies? 

I love being outdoors and will often be hiking, mountain biking or camping during the weekends. I am also developing a new hobby of restoring vintage bikes and learning how to play guitar. Finally, I love movies (Snatch and How to Train your Dragon are two of my favorites) and video games (Overwatch and Super Smash Bros. are currently on my list).  

What has been your favorite class and why? 

My favorite class so far has been senior project. Even though we recently began, I love that it is project-based and relies heavily on our independent contributions. This class offers a great balance of guidance and freedom, allowing us to approach problems on our own while still following a timeline to stay on time. Additionally, I am learning some of the most applicable skills that I have learned at Cal Poly because it involves both technical application as well as writing and planning with our group.  

What’s your dream job after graduation? 

My dream job after graduation involves working at the intersection of hardware and software integration. My passion for both computer science and biomedical engineering make it ideal for me to combine these two fields. Neuromodulation, for example, which involves interfacing with the human nervous system, is particularly interesting to me. It combines both anatomy and the rapidly growing digital world, often requiring innovative solutions like machine learning algorithms. Regardless of the specific field I enter, I am excited to make a difference in the world of biomedical engineering.  

What do you think engineering’s biggest impact on the world will be in the future? 

While I love biomedical engineering, I hope engineering’s biggest impacts will be environmentally focused. The world is undergoing significant changes, and creative engineering solutions are essential to address them. I hope that integrating these technologies will lead to a cultural shift that will cause people to become more aware of their surroundings and the importance of protecting the environment. 

Do you have a scholarship to help with your Cal Poly education?  

I do have an academic scholarship from Cal Poly as well as various miscellaneous scholarships. There are a lot of scholarships that may not seem like much but when added up can really save a lot of money.  

What was your path to Cal Poly?  

I’ve always been fascinated by engineering and spent countless hours researching various schools across the nation. Then my counselor dropped the knowledge bomb about Cal Poly and I was hooked – its top-notch engineering program and its picturesque location in the great outdoors were too good to resist. After visiting the campus, even while feeling under the weather, I realized that Cal Poly was where I could not only excel academically but also have a blast doing it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to learn about circuits and calculus while surrounded by rolling hills and scenic views? I’m grateful that I chose Cal Poly and get to take advantage of all its awesomeness.