Student Snap: Gustavo K. Contreras

By Nick Gagliardi

Gustavo Contreras has one piece of advice for prospective engineers: “Don’t be afraid to try something, even if you aren’t sure you’re going to like it.” Hewing to this advice, Gustavo started life at UConn on a Biomedical Engineering path, which eventually led him to his current double major in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

“In the fall semester of my junior year, I took a few electrical engineering courses, and really liked them. I started talking to other ECE (Electrical & Computer Engineering) majors and realized this is what I want to be doing,” he said.

Now a senior at UConn, Gustavo is looking toward furthering his education in graduate school next year. His research focuses mostly on optical devices and digital circuit design, which he feels are the most enjoyable aspects of the program.

A native of Peru, Gustavo immigrated to the United States at an early age. Despite the challenges of a language barrier and new culture, Gustavo had no problem adapting and doing well in his academics. “In high school, I did really well in my physics and math classes, and I always knew I wanted to be an engineer.” He attended Danbury High School, where his peers and teachers recommended UConn for its engineering program.

Gustavo is in the Honors Program at UConn, and very involved in many engineering societies. He is a member of the honors society for electrical and computer engineers, Eta Kappa Nu, as well as the general engineering honors society, Tau Beta Pi. He is currently advisor to the president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and is a recipient of the Accenture Scholarship for Business and Engineering Students, as well as the United Technologies Corporation Focused Efforts Scholarship.

“Students should get to know the faculty [at UConn]. They’re very approachable and will help you along the way with whatever you need,” he said. “I’d recommend UConn to anybody.”