Lisandro Quiñones with two children he met while doing volunteer work in Brazil two years ago
Lisandro Quiñones asked an engineering professor a question not long ago, and the answer changed the course of his life.
“For many years I wanted to be a doctor to help people get well,” says Quiñones MS’10 Mechanical Engineering. “But after talking to a mechanical engineering professor at MIT about his patent on a surgical instrument, I decided that designing such a tool would help many more people get well by making it easier and safer for doctors to carry out their jobs.”
That new direction led him to Columbia SEAS.
“For my graduate studies I wanted a university that featured a prestigious faculty but also a small department in which I could get to really know my professors and peers,” he says. “The Department of Mechanical Engineering at SEAS is exactly what I wanted.”
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Undergraduate Degree: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA
Favorite Band: Andrés Calamaro
Favorite Movie: El Método (The Method)
Favorite spot in NYC: Riverside Park after a snowfall
Hobbies: Travel, music and sports
New York City itself was part of the attraction.
“Coming from four years of breathing and eating in the greater Boston area, I was looking for nothing less, thus New York City was the place to go,” he says. “… It’s all about options. Being able to attend a Nobel laureate lecture during the day and later in the evening go to a Yankees game is simply great.”
His most memorable engineering course has been here at Columbia SEAS: Catalysis of Emission Control, taught by Professor Robert Farrauto.
“I finally came across the ultimate blend between academics and field experience,” he says.
Quiñones, 22, hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and hopes to eventually use his education in his homeland.
“Hopefully, after gathering some experience as an engineer, I see myself working as a consultant in the emerging development of Puerto Rico’s urban infrastructure.”