Department of

Electrical Engineering

Serving society through excellence in education, research, scholarship, and public outreach


Meet Yolian

Why did you select Penn State for graduate school?

I chose Penn State because it provided me the opportunity to work in groundbreaking research that combines my interests and background. Its remote sensing and space systems program was exactly what I wanted to become part of. Specifically, Dr. Urbina’s work in software-defined radar systems used for ionospheric studies was the research area that I wanted to pursue as a PhD student. In addition to that, when I visited the campus before making the final decision to study here, I knew I would fit perfectly into this community.

How did you become interested in electrical engineering?

I became interested in electrical engineering when I was an undergraduate student. I had the opportunity to participate in different internships and research projects that allowed me to discover all the possibilities in the areas of remote sensing and space systems. I was pursuing a computer engineering bachelor’s degree at the moment and I loved it, so I decided to take additional courses in electrical engineering and later chose a graduate program that allowed me to apply my computer background and learn more about the electrical side of the field.

What do you like most about the electrical engineering graduate program?

I like that the electrical engineering program has excellent faculty and staff that are very supportive and encouraging. It is very important to be surrounded by people that understand and motivate you through the graduate studies. I also love that we have the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary projects and collaborate with facilities around the world such as the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and the Jicamarca Observatory in Peru.

Any advice to prospective students?

Choose a place in which you see yourself living during your graduate academic career. See if the place matches your personality, if you like the campus environment, and if you are interested enough in the research and work that is done in the department. If you get a chance to visit the university, talk to professors and other graduate students to get a better idea of the ongoing research projects. Also, if you do not have a potential advisor in mind, take advantage of the campus visit and look for one.