Your Career in Engineering
Steve Hunt, a graduate of Bath High School, studied mechanical engineering at Ohio Northern University. Hunt is now a rotating equipment engineer for the oil movement and storage (OM&S) area at the Husky Lima Refinery.
Consider engineering if you:
- Like figuring out how thing work
- Like to solve puzzles
- Enjoy math and science
WHERE/HOW TO GET TRAINING
Engineers hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline such as civil, electrical, mechanical or computer. Those directly serving the public must also be licensed. At Ohio Northern University, engineering majors complete a four-year program with an option to spend an additional year in a cooperative program, working in a semi-professional position with an industrial company or consulting firm. A new concentration in advanced energy has just been added to the curriculum.
Grants, scholarships, loans, and work/study programs are available for students. For most of this aid, high school seniors must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is available from high school guidance offices and postsecondary financial aid offices.
For more information on federal financial aid programs, or to apply electronically, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site at http://www.ed.gov.
Engineers use science and math to find solutions to problems. Because they may both plan and supervise a project, engineers work in an office setting, in an industrial plant or outdoor work site or other locations.
RESOURCES - HOW TO FIND OUT MORE
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
ABET-accredited engineering programs
ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202. Internet: www.abet.org
American Society of Civil Engineers, 1801 Alexander Bell Dr., Reston, VA 20191. Internet: www.asce.org
Computer hardware engineers
IEEE Computer Society, 2001 L St. NW., Suite 700., Washington, DC 20036. Internet: www.computer.org
Electrical and electronics engineers
IEEE–USA, 2001 L St. NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 3 Park Ave., New York, NY 10016. Internet: www.asme.org
SAE International, 400 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale, PA 15096. Internet: www.sae.org
Engineers are problem solvers. As curious kids, they took things apart and put them back together again – just to discover how they worked. They built bridges and buildings with LEGO® blocks and had a deep fascination with cars and trucks. As adults, they design real bridges, create new machines, make better computers and solve a whole range of problems.
Steve Hunt, rotating equipment engineer for the oil movement and storage (OM&S) area at the Husky Lima Refinery, says, “I’ve always wanted to know how stuff works. I love to take things apart, and math and science were my two best subjects. When I found out there was a whole degree – engineering – centered around those things, it was a natural fit for me.”
Engineers work in wide range of fields, from energy, like Hunt, to medicine, manufacturing, building, computing and many more. Civil engineers are involved in the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams and water systems. Electrical engineers design, develop and test electrical equipment. Mechanical engineers research, design and develop tools, engines, machines and mechanical devices. Computer hardware engineers work on things like computer chips, circuit boards or related computer equipment.
While the things engineers do vary widely, it is the engineering mindset that allows them to find new ways to solve old problems. “I love to tell people that engineering is not just a major, it’s a way of life,” says Hunt. “ What you learn in college is how to solve problems. What you do after college is take that ability to solve problems and apply it to thousands of different situations, different career paths and different options.”
Hunt, a graduate of Bath High School, studied mechanical engineering at Ohio Northern University, including a year of co-op work at the Valero Refinery in Lima. After graduation in 2009, he took a job at American Electrical Power’s D.C. Cook Nuclear plant in Bridgman, Michigan. The company allows new engineers to spend a year in a rotational engineering program to determine their best fit. “AEP realizes that engineers have a very broad set of skills,” Hunt says. “Just because you have an engineering degree doesn’t mean you’re sitting there doing calculations all day long.”
He admits, “A lot of us do that, but we are problem-solvers. We work well in analysis, in business-centered groups and preparing proposals.”
After exploring his options at the nuclear plant, Hunt chose to work with the nuclear systems engineering group.
He says, “A year later I was the system manager for the reactor coolant system, the spent fuel pool and the component cooling water systems. That was a really cool opportunity to actually go inside the containment building and actually see the ‘nuclear’ side of the plant.”
As much as he enjoyed the work, when he was offered a chance to return to the Lima Refinery, he took it. He says, “It gave me the opportunity to come home and be around my family and still have a career that challenges me. It was hard to say no to that.”
Becoming an engineer takes hard work, Hunt says. “Engineering’s a tough major in college, but it’s rewarding. There’s a sense of accomplishment and pride in being an engineer.”
Part of that pride is being prepared to adapt to changing conditions.
“Engineering is hard to define,” Hunt says. “We learn to solve problems. So, whether the problem is in aerospace or manufacturing, we have the ability to adapt. In today’s market, that’s an amazing skill.”