Making Good on a Childhood Dream

Alex Elliott traces the first stirrings of his passion for science and mathematics to a field trip he took as a sixth-grader.

“At the time, I was just beginning to learn algebra, and then my class went to the California Institute of Technology in Los Angeles,” said Alex, who grew up in Solvang. “When we toured the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I knew that I wanted to become an engineer.”

Thanks to the South Coast Business & Technology Scholarship Fund, he is doing just that. Now a senior at Cal Poly, Alex is studying biomedical engineering and eyeing a career in medical device development or perhaps regenerative medicine.

“I struggled to find a type of engineering that suited me,” he said. “Due to my personal philosophy of wanting to make a positive difference, I deeply considered becoming a doctor instead. However, I was able to find the perfect combination of the two in biomedical engineering. The engineering part of the major has allowed me to utilize my passion for math and designing new technology, and I am able to help people.”

He realizes he is about to enter an essential field of work at a pivotal time.

“All of the innovation and collaboration I have witnessed during the pandemic have made me proud to be an engineer, adding to my confidence that I chose the right major,” said Alex. “I believe the world needs creative and dedicated thinkers in order to overcome global disasters and the many challenges confronting humanity.”