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Going the distance to represent Clemson

By Kara Robertson, Class of 2016 | Creative Services

Coming out of high school, Matt Sheen was ready to take on the world. As a National Merit Scholar, he was at the top of every major engineering college’s recruitment list. He was awarded full scholarships from high caliber schools including Georgia Tech, but none of these schools seemed right.

Matt Sheen, right, works with a student in his 3-D printing class.“There is just something about Clemson. The students here are like family. I think that’s what really appealed to me,” said Sheen, who is from Augusta, Ga.

The scholarship he was offered from Clemson allowed Matt to attend the school where he truly saw himself. But Matt’s ambition didn’t end with his enrollment — not by a long shot.

Matt is currently a senior mechanical engineering major. He served as president of the Clemson Symphony Orchestra where he plays second-section violin. In his free time, he runs up to 25 miles per week across campus. All while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

Sheen’s ability to “do it all” reflects his drive and dedication in everything he does. He claims that his passion for both mechanical engineering and Clemson is what pushes him to be so involved. Within the field of mechanical engineering, Sheen is most passionate about mechatronics, an emphasis area that allows him to construct robots for various industries. Despite his love for engineering, though, Sheen admits that the curriculum requires a lot of effort.

“I work hard. It’s my field of interest, so I enjoy a lot of what I do, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” Sheen said. “Engineering students can get tunnel vision. Being involved in different things helps me keep everything in perspective.”

So, Sheen leads a Creative Inquiry class in 3-D printing. The class focuses on the development of new technology that can print three-dimensional materials, such as plastic. He works with 20 students, informing them about innovations in this up-and-coming field. But the students in his class aren’t the only ones benefiting.

“Being in charge of this class has taught me so much about leadership,” Sheen said. “It has taught me to lead in a different context.”

Sheen wants to take everything he has learned at Clemson to new heights. In the fall, he plans to attend graduate school at UT Austin, Cornell or Duke where he will specialize in mechatronics. He jokes that it would be great to make a career out of a hobby.

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