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Faces of NECC

Juan Oscar Azaret, Engineering Faculty

Students in Juan Oscar Azaret’s engineering physics and electronics classes can expect lessons from an accomplished engineer and an equally accomplished classical guitar builder and player, who likes to show the connection between the two disciplines.

“Both math and music are languages that require an ordered kind of thinking,” he says. “The similarities are there.”

In fact, the Cuban-born Azaret, who has been teaching at Northern Essex for the last three years, believes strongly that math, music, and science intersect. He often brings a signature blend of engineering principles and classical guitar skills to his classroom.

There are currently more than 250 students enrolled in Northern Essex’s engineering program making it one of the fastest growing programs on campus. NECC offers four associate degree options and five certificates in technology and engineering, programs that prepare students for entry into the workforce or transfer to a four-year program. Azaret’s students can expect a dynamic classroom experience.

Raised in the hills of East Tennessee, Azaret worked as an engineer for more than 30 years in the fields of communications, systems and hardware development, and semiconductors. He is just one of the dedicated engineering faculty members who brings engineering to life for NECC students.

 “I like a lot of dialog in my class. We have fun, interesting lab work, and team projects and we come up with lots of real world demos and analogies to better illustrate the concepts we are learning,” he explains. “I love the ‘aha moments’ which students have as they start to figure things out. It’s rewarding to see motivated students using their classroom learning as a stepping stone in their career…building a better future for themselves.”

The 62-year-old Azaret, who is fluent in Spanish, holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Azaret, who is also a luthier, someone who makes and repairs string instruments, says, “I love to dwell in the details of physical things. As a luthier and STEM teacher the challenges are endless. It’s exciting to share with my students a lifetime of experience in the high tech industry and to see them learning a profession, working hard to achieve, and rejoicing in being able to make sense of things.”