Meet Paulina Salinas Hernandez

Categories: Students Tags: For Students

National Engineers Week is Feb. 18-24. Meet Paulina Salinas Hernandez, a senior double majoring in German and electrical engineering technology with concentrations in electromechanical systems and applied energy.

Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?

My family and I moved to the United States from Mexico in 2020. I chose UNC Charlotte because my dad’s job was in Charlotte, and I wanted to stay with my family but also because the campus is so beautiful and the international student program is great. Now, although my family is back home in Mexico, UNC Charlotte continues to feel like home.

Why did you choose engineering?

One of the main reasons I chose engineering is my dad. He is a very successful engineer and always encouraged me and my sisters to do engineering. In high school, I had many opportunities in the engineering field that helped me decide. I was part of the school’s robotics club and participated in FIRST competitions, I had engineering classes and seminars and I visited many engineering companies in Germany and Mexico. I’m still figuring out my career goals, but I know that engineering was the right decision and I’ve had so much fun so far.

Tell us about your role in the Area 49 Makerspace in Atkins Library.

My role in the Area 49 Makerspace is to guide and help patrons with the usage of the technology we offer in the space, machines like 3-D printers, a laser cutter, sewing and embroidery machines, vinyl cutter and many other interesting tools for students to create projects for personal or academic use. What I love about the Area 49 Makerspace is that it is available to every major at UNC Charlotte. With different backgrounds and perspectives, everyone takes a different approach when creating a project, no matter how small a project is, so I get to learn a lot from everyone who comes into the space. That is not only so interesting for me, but it has helped me learn adaptability, open-mindedness and many other invaluable skills.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the Lynn G. Bellenger Engineering Scholarship from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers?

This scholarship not only helped me and my family with the financial responsibilities, but its acknowledgment of my achievements was a powerful motivator, confirming that my dedication and hard work in engineering have not gone unnoticed. I also received the Gabriel, Cernyak, Reimer Award for Excellence in German in 2023.

What are three words to describe UNC Charlotte?

Three words to describe UNC Charlotte are hills, diversity and opportunity.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not studying or working?

I am a very introverted person, so when I’m not studying or working, I love spending time on my own. I love drawing and painting, reading, cooking, building legos, playing video games, watching shows and movies and trying new crafts I find online.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

I lived in Evora, Portugal, for one year when I was 5 years old.