• Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2023
  • Hometown: Sugar Land, TX

About: Hello! My name is Jignesh. Growing up with two sisters and a parent that went to UT, it was always my dream to call UT Austin, and for that matter, Austin, Texas my home. As a first-year Master's student here and a proud Texas graduate, I have had a great time exploring the city, finding life-long friends, and finding organizations such as Texas 4000 filled with caring and motivated individuals.

Currently, I am completing a master's degree focusing on computer architecture and hope to design the next generation of leading-edge computing devices and make technology more versatile, sustainable, and impactful.

Outside of school, I enjoy working on cars, especially late-model sedans, coupes, and performance wagons with minor or major engine and transmission upgrades and repairs. My dream is to create a BMW F81 M3 plug-in hybrid station wagon so shoot me a message if you have any car adventures you'd like to talk about. Aside from working on cars, catch me at Zilker or Auditorium shores on Sundays for a game of Spike-Ball or ultimate frisbee.

I'm incredibly excited to begin my journey in Texas 4000 and get to know all of yall along the way!

Why I Ride

Flying back from India on a childhood father-son trip, we remained on edge, without any news, worrying about my father's oldest brother's health as he fought a losing battle with colon cancer. As a 9-year-old, I didn't quite understand the magnitude of what had happened; I didn't understand how the uncle I had just talked to a month prior, was suddenly gone. Unfortunately, with cancer running through our family, this wasn't the last fight against cancer I'd witness. Although I am not a medical professional, nor even knowledgeable in basic healthcare, I would like to do my part and join my two sisters and mother (all healthcare professionals) in the fight against cancer and improving the lives of those facing medical complications.

An opportunity to help came during my senior capstone. Inspired by the difficulties our grandparents, and a cancer survivor we met through the process, a group of fellow engineers and I set out to create a "hearing replacement system” for the deaf and hard of hearing community. We knew the technological capability to create devices far more functional than today's hearing aids existed but were not being applied. Put simply, why are everyday AirPods arguably more technologically advanced and capable than expensive, custom-made hearing aids?

With this information in mind and mission in mind, we wanted to understand what features and qualities our potential users would want. This is where we met Linda, a financial consultant who had suffered hearing loss during cancer treatment. The tumor had dealt a huge blow to her livelihood, leaving her in a state with mixed emotions of guilt, concern, and loneliness, all due to her inability to efficiently and conveniently interact with the world around her. From our meeting with her, we decided to create a discrete armband device that would integrate with our user's smartphones to transcribe speech to text, notify our users of emergency sounds, and let them know where detected sounds were coming from. With this in mind, we set to work to create our prototype.

Although our prototype was not the best looking and barely functional, it served as a manifestation of the capabilities that we as engineers possess to improve the lives of those either fighting cancer (and other medical struggles) or those suffering the side-effects of intense medical care. Although lacking medical knowledge, we have the ability to positively impact the lives of those that have faced or are facing cancer. By riding with Texas 4000, I have the opportunity to inspire fellow engineers to think out-of-the-box and use their expertise to create solutions for fighters to regain control of their lives.

To Alaska and back,