Tinkering to Transistors: Jimmy Lu Has a Plan

photo of engineering student jimmy lu outside famu-fsu college of engineering

For undergrad Jimmy Lu, tinkering led to an intense interest in everything electronics technology. (Scott Holstein/FAMU-FSU College of Engineering)

The PlayStation 4 got Jimmy Lu into electrical engineering. The junior first tinkered with electronics while playing his game system. This troubleshooting grew into a love for diagnosing and fixing things. 

“My PS4 was acting up and I realized that the cooling system was off,” Lu said. “I opened it and took it apart to see the problem. This ended up being a hobby that got me interested in studying more about electronics.”

Born in Nicaragua, Lu moved to Taiwan at an early age. Along the way, he learned Spanish, Mandarin and English. By age eight, he was living in the U.S. Now, he’s a first-generation college student. 

“It was difficult to adapt to all the different countries we lived in because of the language differences,” Lu said. “Once I got to the U.S., I got a lot of support from my teachers.”

At the joint college and Florida State, Lu moved from tinkering to engineering, and he’s involved with IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), an engineering student group. He recently shared some thoughts about his journey.

Favorite thing about the joint college

I think it is the people that you get to meet inside or outside of your classes. Everyone around me has the same type of goals and a positive mindset. My favorite moments are when we are working in our lab. That’s when we work with electronic components like capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc.

choosing electrical engineering

I enjoy working with electronic components, and it was the closest major to electronics engineering. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I take classes to learn more about how electronics work.


I’m inspired by the senior design process I’ll be working on next year. It’s my final year, and I will be part of a group engineering project to showcase what we’ve learned in college. We don’t have a project yet, but I am excited about our work. 

best advice

To succeed in anything, you need patience, grit and hard work in your daily routine. Don’t forget to enjoy the process of your goal while you’re doing it.

Five-Year PLan

I want to be an integrated circuit engineer and a project manager at Intel or AMD for at least a few years.

On Impacting the world

I want to advance technology to be more efficient and not require as much power. Things should last longer in terms of battery life.

If he had a superpower…

I would read and understand books the first time through! There are a lot of books that I would like to read (engineering and non-engineering) that are difficult to understand. Having a superpower that can help me absorb the knowledge would save me a lot of time and help me get better grades in class.


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