student smiling

It’s hard to imagine anyone more Temple Made than Christos Yiantsos, a first-generation Greek-American who is graduating with a BS degree in electrical engineering.

“When I think about how I got through the College of Engineering in four years, I realize that hard work really pays off. That’s been my family’s motto ever since my grandfather came over here in the late 1970s with basically no money,” says Yiantsos, who was born and raised in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. 

His grandfather, Kosmas Yiantsos, quickly opened a donut shop at SEPTA’s Olney Transportation Center. After Christos’ parents married and immigrated to Philadelphia, his father John also opened a newsstand at the same SEPTA center—a stand where Christos has worked since he was 14.

Besides hard work, both Temple and engineering are in Christos’ blood. All three of his siblings are Temple graduates, and two of his uncles, several cousins and his brother Kosmas (EE ‘07) are engineers. His brother is a civilian electrical engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Philadelphia’s former Navy Yard—where his younger brother will soon begin working in the same capacity.

After Associate Professor John Helferty introduced Christos to electrical engineering and began mentoring him, he interned the past two summers with NSWC. Last summer, the president and founder of Temple’s American Society of Naval Engineers chapter used MATLAB/Simulink to research the feasibility of hybrid power systems that would combine new electrical power systems with existing gas- and oil-powered turbines on older destroyers.

“Seeing it come to life by just using words or phrases on the computer was a light bulb moment for me,” says the former Temple Owl soccer player. “I love the fact that I will be working on smaller-scale engineering projects that, as part of bigger projects, will eventually be implemented on ships that are defending the United States. It’s awesome to think about.”