My Music. My Story. Yudong Chen.
Words by Qiaorong Wang
Yudong Chen received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He is now a mechanical engineer at Cummins Inc., developing diesel engine products. Let’s discover how music influences Yudong’s life and inspires him as an engineer.
How has music influenced your life?
Music started to influence my life when I was in elementary school. At the time, my parents gave me a brand new MP3 player, and ever since, I fell in love with music. As I had an MP3 player, I mostly listened to country music and popular songs after school for relaxation. It was the first time I got acquainted with Western music and culture, which inspired me to pursue my college degree in the U.S.
Now, music is everywhere in my life. I turn on the radio or use Spotify to enjoy music while driving on the highway or working out. I also love watching musical films or music-topic movies, like La La Land, Green Book, A Star is Born, etc.
What’s your favorite kind of music and why?
I enjoy listening to rock music the most. I believe rock is one of the most powerful music genres to express strength, emotion, and attitude. When I was young, I always dreamed of playing electric guitar in a band. Although that never happened, and I became an engineer at the end of the day, it did not really impact my passion for rock music.
My favorite bands are The Beatles, Queen, and Coldplay. Coincidentally, they are all British bands. My most loved songs are Hey Jude and Yellow.
Do you see any correlation between music and engineering?
Yes, absolutely. Music is the art of arranging sound to express emotions and ideas. At the same time, engineering is the art of arranging scientific principles to design and build products to tackle real-world problems. Music and engineering both need to follow specific roles to deliver desirable outcomes. It requires years of learning and practice; however, that is far from enough.
More importantly, music and engineering are about innovation and creativity. Musicians and engineers will certainly need some instincts or talent to write new songs or develop new engineering products.
How do you feel about classical music?
Classical music is so unique and appealing. I will not forget my first time attending a classical orchestra concert; I was so amazed by the combination of sounds created by different instruments. It just feels like I was embraced by the magic of music, and all I need to do is close my eyes and enjoy.