FOR BEING A MINI MUSK:
Even before starting his freshman year at UC Berkeley, Tyler Chen began looking for a superstar team to bring one of Elon Musk’s futuristic visions to life – a levitating train that shoots through a vacuum tube at 750-plus mph. Two years later, the team found themselves at the 2017 finals of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition with their prototype Hyperloop Pod. Unfortunately, Tyler’s vehicle glitched and failed.
The glitch was just a small roadbump for Tyler, who went on to develop assistive devices for quadriplegia and new chemistries for single-cell genomics. Tyler completed a joint major in materials science and bioengineering, maintained a near-perfect GPA of 3.96, and continued training as a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
He achieved Berkeley’s highest honor for a graduating senior -- the University Medal -- giving him the privilege of addressing his graduating class at commencement. Tyler will begin his PhD studies in bioengineering as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University.