Meet Iron Man. Most know him as student Albert Lee, but when he pulls on one of the three Iron Man suits he’s custom-made, he transforms into his favorite superhero – someone looking to save the world, or at least make it a little brighter.
A junior international business major, Lee taught himself how to make the custom creations using videos online.
“Creating the suits helps me because I need to be working on multiple projects at one time. Building these suits helps me reach a state of serenity, while balancing work and school,” Lee said.
But the suits he builds are not just for fun, although he admits the projects are just that. Lee creates the suits to help UTSA student organization For the Kids, which hosts a dance marathon each year to raise money for children with cancer.
“Last year was the first time I got involved with FTK,” Lee said. “I wanted to use the suits to help recruit people to the organization, promote the dance marathon and do hospital visits.”
FTK is currently looking for volunteers to help them out and for hospitals they can visit.
With a quiet demeanor, the suits transform Lee into a star. And just like any superhero, he handles the requests for selfies, autographs and general conversation like a pro when he is walking through campus.
“I’ve gotten used to it,” he says about his popularity on campus. “I always love it when people come up and talk to me while I’m in one of the suits.”
Lee has created three Iron Man suits and is working on a fourth. The next one will be motorized, a fun addition he made after he got the hang of developing the foam suits.
Building things has always come naturally to Lee, who started with small hobby sets as a child. He hopes his new, bigger and more advanced creations will take him to an exciting career.
Lee landed an internship last fall with Disney World, which gave him an opportunity to take his creations to the professionals who are already working in his dream job. Every time he met with someone at Disney, he took his portfolio – an electronic handcrafted helmet – with him.
The full suit likely would have been too much.
“It takes about 30 minutes of straps, grunting, sweating and pulling to put it on,” he said with a laugh.