3 Questions with Kyle Maxwell, E’08 Software Engineer, Aurora Solar

Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice. 

Kyle Maxwell, E’08 Software Engineer, Aurora Solar

  1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.         

I currently work as a Software Engineer for Aurora Solar. We are building a platform for the solar industry to accurately model production of solar installations. I specifically work on visualizing the solar panels in the web browser using WebGL. This is just one way that I have leveraged my interest in 3D visualization. Previously I worked at DreamWorks Animation simulating special effects, and at Stellar Science doing scientific computing. The wonderful thing about software is that it connects common threads between industries from entertainment to engineering.

  1. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?

While at Tufts as an undergrad I spent my summers working with professors Lenore Cowen, Sarah Frisken and Caroline Cao working to visualize medical and biological data. This research really prepared me to apply visualization to any field. Software is about data and that data only matters if we can use it to communicate insights to solve big problems and make an impact in people’s minds.

3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?

People are often surprised by my switching between seemingly unrelated industries. But if you look closely it’s all software, math, physics, and geometry. I tell students that it pays off to study hard in your subject and adjacent fields, I really value not just the CS classes that I took at Tufts, but the Math, Cognitive science and other courses as well. If you work hard and are interested in real world problems, you will never lack for exciting opportunities.

By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services