The School of Engineering is #PNWEngineeringProud of Ben Moul. He is a mechanical engineering graduate from Purdue Northwest!
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Spring 2012
Why did you choose mechanical engineering?
I chose mechanical engineering because I thought I wanted to go into the aerospace industry, but was told by many people that an ME degree would give me that option but also be more flexible and open doors to opportunities in other industries.
Why did you choose PNW?
I honestly had never heard of PNW until my high school principal gave me paperwork to apply for the Chancellor’s Scholar program. I was seriously considering Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, but the financial aid and Purdue reputation made the difference for me.
What was your most rewarding academic experience at PNW?
I believe the smaller campus and more personalized classes were very beneficial to me. Most of my professors and supplemental instructors knew me by name and made themselves available outside of class to provide advice, guidance, or just to chat. It helped me start to realize the importance of relationships and connections we build with those around us in achieving anything, even very technical tasks.
Your current company/position:
I currently work as a Senior Product Engineer for John Deere at the Product Engineering Center in Waterloo, IA, where I design test stand systems for tractor transmissions, axles, and other components in a lab environment. I have been with John Deere for six years (since graduation), with opportunities to take on new projects and responsibilities each year. I have represented for my facility on several global communities of practice and strategic initiative teams, while I also volunteer as a recruiter, brand ambassador, and United Way committee member.
Faculty and/or staff members who helped you along your journey at PNW:
As I researched PNW and transitioned to life on campus, Bill Baginski was crucial in answering questions and helping reassure my parents. In my freshman and sophomore years, I received a lot of input and wisdom from professors who have since retired, or moved: Nancy Johnson in calculus, Yeow Siow in engineering, and Bipin Pai as an advisor and engineering professor. In my core classes, senior design, and competitions, Harvey Abramowitz and Don Gray were both indispensable. Additionally, working as a Resident Assistant, I was impacted by the entire staff of the Department of Housing and Residential Education. Outside of the classroom and work, Matt Dudzik and his staff with Intramural Sports were the highlight of campus life for me.
PNW classroom projects/experiences that were beneficial:
I had the opportunity to compete in the NASA Annual Great Moonbuggy Race in Huntsville, Alabama both my junior and senior year, as well as the ASME’s Human-Powered Vehicle competition. Both of those experiences were hugely influential in my understanding of time and project management, as well as the importance of being able to execute (manufacture) based on engineering theory.
Resident Assistant, Sports Writer for the Chronicle, Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Men’s Cross Country, National Residence Hall Honorary Vice President for Recognition, founding member of the then “Peregrine Posse” student section at basketball games, numerous intramurals (flag football, volleyball, wiffle ball, bowling, etc.).
PNW awards received:
Chancellor’s Scholar, Student-Employee of the Year finalist 2010, Department of Housing and Residential Education Director’s Commendation 2010, Resident Assistant of the Year 2010, Most Improved Award at 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, 3rd Overall at 19th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at PNW. It was a period of transitions and new beginnings that were sometimes frustrating, but it felt like I was getting in on the ground floor of something new and helping build the future. There were so many opportunities to get involved and take leadership roles all across campus that it helped me to stretch, grow, and ultimately be prepared to begin life in the “real world”.