Armed with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, George Dylan Bistany ’19, ’20 is ready to help make the world a better place.
“I think energy is one of the biggest issues we have to face, and I want to use my education to help make that transition to renewables,” Bistany says. “I’m really excited to be part of that, whether it’s through electric vehicles or solar power.”
Growing up in Hudson, New Hampshire, Bistany had passing interests in engineering and cars. When representatives from the Francis College of Engineering visited his high school his senior year and talked about Engineers Made in Germany, a six-week study abroad program that immerses students in the German automotive industry, Bistany was sold.
“That was one of the things that excited me about UMass Lowell,” says Bistany, who also valued being close to home and receiving the reduced regional tuition rate available to out-of-state students with a permanent address in New England.
He never imagined that, five years later, he would have studied abroad in both Germany and the Czech Republic — and spent three years developing radar sensors in a pair of internships at global automotive supplier Valeo.
“Obviously, I’m really happy with my UML decision,” says Bistany, who credits the International Experiences and Study Abroad Office with much of his success. “I couldn’t have done it without them. It’s great that students have that resource.”
As a first-year student, Bistany joined River Hawk Racing, the university’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
“Cars are all around us, but at the same time, they’re really complex. I guess I’m interested in complicated things that I don’t understand,” says Bistany, who considered majoring in mechanical engineering but steered toward electrical after considering the potential career opportunities coming down the pike in the electric vehicle industry.
“I like the green, sustainable aspect of electric vehicles,” says Bistany, who took several courses in alternative energy sources for his master’s degree.
Following his sophomore year, Bistany landed what would become a two-year research and development internship with Valeo — right in his hometown of Hudson. There, Bistany got hands-on experience with radar sensors used for blind spot detection, as well as lidar used for traffic alerts.
At the encouragement of his department chair, Prof. Martin Margala, Bistany decided to complete his master’s degree abroad in fall 2019 at the Czech Technical University in Prague — where he could also intern with Valeo again at their research and development center.
What was supposed to be a five-month study abroad experience turned into a nine-month stay, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic prevented Bistany from returning home as planned in March 2020.
“I booked about eight flights, but they all kept getting canceled,” says Bistany, who was able to continue working at Valeo before eventually returning home on June 1.
He made the most of his extended stay, exploring Prague and enjoying ski trips with classmates.
“I was the only American with about 100 Czechs on some of the ski trips, which was a lot of fun,” says Bistany, who never really considered himself an outdoorsy person until he signed up for a rock climbing and hiking trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee with UML’s Outdoor Adventure Programs over spring break in 2016. He was a trip leader to the Grand Canyon in 2018.
“That’s another really cool thing I was exposed to at UML that is pretty important in my life now,” says Bistany, who has enjoyed the outdoors during the downtime of the pandemic.
“It’s been an interesting time for everyone, but it’s been really good at this point in my life as I really evaluate where I want to go with my next step,” he says. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”