Oredigger snapshots: New alumni open up about their Mines experience

by | Oct 8, 2019 | Fall 2019, Feature Stories | 0 comments

Mechanical Engineering

Austin Hayes ’19
Technical sales engineer,
ABB Motors and Mechanical Inc.

Q: What attracted you to ABB Motors and Mechanical Inc.?

A: I was looking for a company that could provide me with a long-term career. ABB is a large, successful company with lots of opportunity for me to grow within the
company. I also wanted a job where I could stay active and socialize with people instead of doing technical work and sitting at a desk. 

Q: What part of the Mines experience has benefited you even after graduation?

A: I think the most critical part of the Mines experience that has helped me was my involvement on campus. Being involved helped me come out of my shell, develop my communication and collaboration skills and become a very sociable person. In a professional setting, the ability to communicate effectively and develop relationships with others has been crucial to success in my career.

Q: What was the most helpful thing you learned at Mines?

A: One of the most valuable things I learned in the classroom was networking and collaboration. Mines was too difficult to do by myself. Oftentimes, who I knew was more important than what I knew. When I worked on homework, projects or studied with classmates, it was more beneficial to work with others than do it by myself. It allowed us to solve problems faster and talk about what we were learning, overall better developing our understanding of the material.

Beyond the classroom
• Men’s Club Soccer
• Kappa Sigma Fraternity

Mining Engineering

Roy Bryant Megaptche Kouteu ’19
Mines graduate student

Q: What attracted you to mining engineering?

A: I wanted a career with the opportunity to travel across the world, be exposed to different cultures and be able to give back and help solve important issues. I also wanted to have the flexibility of either working in the field or in the office, so mining engineering was the perfect fit.

Q: What do you think was a critical part of the Mines experience that has helped you get to where you are today?

A: Being part of the Mines community is quite rewarding. We get to interact with the brightest people in many industries. Because people come from different
backgrounds and different places around the world,
they also think differently, and that helps us understand the dynamics of the fast-paced work environment.

Q: Why did you decide to come back to Mines to pursue a double master’s degree in mineral and energy economics and petroleum economics and management?

A: As an undergraduate, mine valuation was one of the best classes I took. Dr. John Grubb introduced us to multiple economic concepts related to the mining industry, and the course emphasized the business aspects of mining. The semester went by too fast, and I wanted to learn more. I applied to graduate school to both expand my existing knowledge and to create additional opportunities for myself in the future. I believe graduate school will prepare me for a more successful and challenging career.

Beyond the classroom
• Society of Mining Engineers
• Society of Petroleum Engineering
• National Society of Black Engineers
• Co-founder of the Mines African Student Union

Petroleum Engineering

Nadya Sri Rushdi ’19
Field engineer, Schlumberger

Q: Why did you study petroleum engineering?

A: Petroleum engineering allows various opportunities to work in the field and gain the necessary hands-on experiences. Although a significant number of people view petroleum engineering as a dying industry, it still thrives and continues to improve with new technologies. It is also stigmatized as a polluting industry, which motivates me to change that mindset.

Q: How do you think Mines helped you get to where you are today?

A: I really appreciated how Mines encouraged students to be open-minded, and it taught me to appreciate everyone’s differences and play to each other’s strengths, especially when dealing with group projects. The industry exposure also helped introduce me to new developments in the field, better understand the workings of industry and create valuable connections.

Q: What was one of the most valuable things you learned in the classroom?

A: The most important lesson was to always be ethical and maintain my integrity at all times. There will come a time where one will be tempted to take the easy route, but if it means having to turn a blind eye and give up my integrity, then it’s not worth it. But I also learned that not everything can be learned in a classroom setting. Books and computers can only go so far, but being able to apply that knowledge is critical.

Beyond the classroom
• Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society
• Pi Epsilon Tau Petroleum Engineering Honors Society
• Golden Key International Honour Society
• Malaysian Society

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Megan Freytag ’19
Engineer in training,
Alan Plummer Associates Inc.

Q: Why did you want to work at Plummer?

A: They have an excellent reputation, both as engineers and people. The company values are meaningful, and the company provides their employees with challenging and meaningful careers.  

Q: What part of the Mines experience has helped you get to where you are today?

A: A critical part of my Mines experience was my senior design project designing a sustainable toilet system for the Everest base camp in Nepal, an area which has waste management issues due to the high tourism rates. For this project, I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal and see why previous toilet designs failed and meet many amazing people who could benefit from our new design. It was an eye-opening and invaluable experience to see how these people lived, and it helped us create the best solution.  

Q: What did you learn in the classroom that has proved to be invaluable?

A: One of the most valuable things I learned in the classroom was unit analysis. Unit analysis was the majority of the fundamentals of engineering exam, so I could not have passed without it.

Beyond the classroom
• Undergraduate research developing hydraulic selection technology for wastewater
• Worked at the Book and Brew coffee shop in the Arthur Lakes Library
• Hike for Help