Joel Martin


Hometown: Sentani, Papua, Indonesia

What is something you wish everyone knew about your major? Mechanical engineering has many different career pathways available. What’s most important is trying different things and being open to learning what pathways might be of interest.

What was your most impactful class or professor? My most impactful professors are Dr. Daniel Keene, the faculty advisor for SPU’s Baja SAE racing program who encouraged and developed me as a leader and engineer, and Dr. Dale Cannavan, professor of biomechanics and health and human performance, who supported my interest and development in biomechanical engineering — a career pathway that I am now committed to.

What are you excited for in your future career? I am excited to apply my engineering skills to the development of orthopedic prosthetics to improve health care outcomes for future patients. My education at SPU has developed that interest into a career pathway that I am extremely excited about.

What advice do you have for incoming students? Seek out new opportunities, especially extracurricular ones, whether that’s at SPU or an internship elsewhere. Throughout my time in college, I grew most through an extracurricular opportunity: as a team member and eventual director of SPU’s Baja SAE racing team. That wouldn’t have happened if I had stayed in my comfort zone throughout my college career.

How have you grown during your time at SPU? SPU is one of very few private, liberal arts universities in the country to have a Baja SAE Racing Team. Building and racing cars competitively, as well as leading the team through highs and lows, has developed me as a leader and engineer in more ways that I can describe. The team has set me on a path for career success and I will always look back with gratitude to SPU for this as well as many other opportunities to grow and develop as an engineer and leader.