CENG Student Spotlight: Analise Chiu

Student posing in her band gear on the school's track
Environmental engineering student Analise Chiu is a proud member of Mustang Band.

Major: Environmental Engineering

Hometown: Fall City, Washington

What made you choose engineering?    

When I first became interested in engineering, I was focused on water projects. I wanted to be able to bring clean water to people all around the world who didn’t have access to clean water. I wanted to create a solution that could achieve that for them in an accessible way. Eventually, as I learned about the environment’s inherent worth, that need to help people evolved into wanting to help the environment, too. I became more interested in the ecology and the environment around me, and I wanted to find a way to preserve and restore natural systems. 

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

I really enjoy going to the beach, especially on a clear night. With the cool wind and the stars overhead, it’s very peaceful. It reminds me of western Washington, where I grew up.   

What was your earliest engineering project?    

That would be my seventh-grade science class egg drop competition. I wanted to put a twist on the classic middle school experiment, so I put the egg inside of an eggplant that I split in half, hollowed out and reassembled using toothpicks as dowels. I knew that eggplant had a foam-like texture, and I appreciated the irony of an egg in an eggplant. The egg actually survived two drops in a row.  

What’s your dream job after graduation?    

My dream job is to do habitat restoration of some kind, preferably riparian restoration, and to combine that kind of conservation and natural resource management with environmental engineering. I would love to be able to plan out the ideal riparian zone to help wildlife and key species reestablish themselves in their native environments. 

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

I know I’m biased, but I think that engineering’s biggest impact on the world will have to do with water. There is enough fresh water in the world to support everybody, but it simply isn’t accessible to everyone when they need it to be. If we can find a way to do that, we will save a lot of lives and the world will be better off. 

Do you have a scholarship? 

I have Cal Poly’s Green and Gold Scholarship that is awarded each year for continued academic excellence. 

Describe your experience in the Cal Poly Mustang Band.  

The Mustang Band community was especially important as a first-year student. I didn’t have to worry much about making friends or finding mentors or people who would advocate for me because they were all there in the band. I felt fully supported as I transitioned to college, and I could not have asked for a better group of people to show me the ropes. 

What is your favorite part about being in Mustang Band? 

The Cal Poly Mustang Band is truly my home away from home. When I’ve had a bad day or a good day, the first people that I want to share my life with are my band family. As an admitted band nerd, I really like marching in uniform, playing halftime shows and doing our pregame routine, all of which are impressive things.