07:52 AM

The Path of a Future Engineer at UST

Engineering student Christopher Alducin When Christopher Alducin began to consider pursuing a future as an engineer, he did not suspect he would be attending a private liberal arts university. Neither did he anticipate that halfway through his studies, the University of St. Thomas at Houston would secure a summer internship at one of the most prestigious cancer hospitals in the world, MD Anderson Cancer Center in the heart of the Texas Medical Center.

"I just finished a project about my research during my internship,” Alducin said. “It's focused on cancer research using mice. We're doing magnetic resonance image (MRI) scans to observe their metabolism and evaluate different conversion rates, which are biomarkers of cancer. These are easily spotted through the metabolism tabulating system." 

Alducin’s family emigrated from Mexico when he was six. Now the 20-year-old future engineer is getting experience and establishing relationships with professionals in his field — relationships that can have a profoundly positive effect on his future.

The young engineer said, "At MD Anderson, I've been able to meet some really awesome people who have given me career advice. They have even redirected me to different professionals to help me decide what I want to do."

In his third year at the Mechanical Engineering Program at University of St. Thomas Houston, Alducin wants to help people using principles of robotics in the construction of prosthetic limbs and other medical devices.

After all, the need for engineers is not just in the medical field, but in every industry. Herman Flores, the Engineering Student Support Services Coordinator at UST, finds opportunities that will open employment doors for students.

"We are working to provide internships for our UST engineering students,” Flores said. “Internships are a good pathway to provide valuable experience. Many companies use this as a route to recruiting new employees.” 

Currently, UST offers a Bachelor of Science in:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Physics

Each one of these programs, which adheres to the Engineering Accreditation Commission (ABET) quality standards offer enormous advantages for minority students in need of financial aid. 

"UST provides a very good financial aid package combined with scholarships that make an engineering education at St. Thomas very attainable for most applicants," adds Flores.

For Birgit Mellis, chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering, the merger of faith and science offers UST Engineering graduates a unique perspective.

Mellis said, "Our department aims to support UST's mission as a place where the faithful can pursue physics and engineering, both as a lucrative career path and as a path for the contemplation and worship of God's creation."


The University of St. Thomas is Houston’s Catholic University. For more than 70 years, UST has graduated students into successful careers in medicine, education, business, public administration and more. As Houston grows, UST will continue to provide the strong leaders and skilled workers needed to meet those demands.