Full Name: Yonathan Ely Bonan ’12, Engineer and Researcher
Where do you live at the moment?
I currently reside in Miami.
What is your current profession and where do you work? How did you come to work in this field?
I am currently working towards completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering as part of an accelerated BSMS (Bachelor’s/Master’s) program offered to students with a high GPA. This past summer I started working as a research assistant in the ElectroMagnetics Laboratory. The research I conduct pertains to Wireless Power Transfer and how magnetic fields from wireless power affect the body. This research is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
On a typical week in this position, what do you do?
Each week is different. It takes a lot of time and effort to discover new data. Currently I am researching an area that is of great concern to wireless power as a whole. Week to week I ask myself, “How do I obtain maximum power without harming the human body?” With time I will be able to answer this question but for the meantime I am still discovering and pushing my knowledge to solve problems of the future.
What is most rewarding about the work you do? What are the challenges?
The most rewarding part about the research I conduct is to know how great an impact my research will be in the years to come. The technology will benefit the medical and military fields. Imagine having a pace maker without ever having to change a battery? Wireless power has many different applications and it is an honor to be able to work on technology for the future. Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The future depends on what you do today.” Since this is a relatively new field that is starting to pick up traction, there are many unknowns that I am discovering and exploring every day. I don’t let what I don’t know scare me, but rather use it to propel me forward each day.
What is one essential academic or life skill you honed at Scheck Hillel?
At Scheck Hillel I gained many valuable academic and life skills. As part of being a two-time Raquel and Jaime Gilinski Hillel Ambassador, I learned that going above and beyond your comfort level leads you to great successes. Through the challenging Judaic and secular studies dual curriculum, I was prepared to tackle the difficulty of studying engineering. The Scheck Hillel vision states the school “educates and inspires students to become exemplary global citizens with enduring Jewish Identity and values.” Through the years, I have always kept Hillel’s vision with me; it is possible to be a global citizen while practicing a strong Jewish identity.
What is your advice for future Hillel students who might consider a career in your field?
Engineering is without a doubt a very difficult but very rewarding field of study. It requires many hours of study, late nights of group work and the will to push yourselves to educational limits you once may have thought were impossible. I am here to tell you that you can do it. Difficulty of coursework should never be a reason not to study a field you are interested in. Throughout middle school and high school I had difficulty mastering mathematical and scientific concepts, something I now use on a daily basis. What drove me then and still drives me to this day is the fact that with a dedicated mind and hard work anything is possible.
What is the last book you read/podcast you heard/show you watched that taught you something you didn’t know before?
I recently read a book called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Dr. Brene Brown. The book is based on a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” I realized through this quote that regardless of whether I fail at something I do, I put my full effort and will get back up and try again to succeed. Being vulnerable has led me to speak in front of large crowds, approach a company’s table during a career fair and study a field that I once thought would be too difficult. I use this every day to grow and become a lifelong learner.