Student Profile: Alejandro Ibarra Polanco, Electrical Engineering
LUCERO FIERRO | December 19, 2018
Alejandro Ibarra Polanco has proven that perseverance is the key to success. The electrical and computer engineering senior at The University of Texas at El Paso has demonstrated his countless talents while serving as a hybrid tutor for the College of Engineering, and as a member of Eta Kappa Nu, the international honor society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society. Polanco was also a recipient of the Floyd Decker Award for Outstanding Electrical Engineering Senior in the Class of Fall 2018.
Originally from Obregón, Mexico, Polanco moved to Juárez as a young boy. Growing up with an interest in media/journalism, he began to realize his aptitudes for math and physics. His desire to pursue a degree in electrical engineering grew while attending a rigorous and prestigious high school in Juárez.
“I have always wanted to choose a career were I could create an impact on other people’s lives and I thought that as an engineer I would be able to make that impact,” Polanco said.
Setting his mind on becoming an honor student in college and having faced rejection from several academic projects, Polanco came to meet a faculty member who helped him point his efforts and energy in the right direction.
Mentored by Benjamin Flores, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs and undergraduate studies for the College of Engineering, Polanco has thrived in his academics. He had the opportunity to present his research on chaotic systems and its potential applications in radar and telecommunication systems in October at the 2018 HENAAC Conference in Pasadena, California. Not only did he receive a second place award in the undergraduate engineering/technology category of the research poster competition but also received a job offer from Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Indiana.
“Alejandro represented UTEP extremely well at the HENAAC Conference. He is a quiet, hard-working and bright student. He’s very focused on academics and enjoys helping his peers,” Flores said.
Polanco participated in the 2018 Fall Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 15, where he graduated summa cum laude. He also hopes to pursue a master’s or a doctoral degree in the future.
“I would like to thank Dr. Flores. He became my mentor since I got to the University. He didn’t hesitate to give me an opportunity. He has not only mentored me in my research, but in every aspect of my career,” Polanco said.