Engineering Students Bring Home Hardware in National Competition

Published: July 08, 2015 | Author: Thomas Ybarra | Read Time: 2 minutes

In Southern Utah University’s Engineering & Technology Building 11 electronic engineering medals, ranging from gold to bronze are displayed exhibiting the extraordinary work of SUU’s engineering department and its students.

These SUU students competed and placed on the national level in the SkillsUSA annual competition. Among those 11 medals is first place winner, Bruce Smalley who took home gold in electronics technology.

Smalley, a recent 2015 graduate in engineering electronics technology, won his ticket to the national competition when he won first place on the state level March 2015. Smalley, ready to compete, took his skills to Louisville, Ken. and competed against 15 other first place state qualifiers from across the country.

The challenges were designed and administered by successful industry leaders across the U.S., such as Caterpillar, Toyota and Harley Davidson, and other companies that represented boats, airplanes, computer programming and plumbing.

To win the gold medal, Smalley successfully passed the national certified electronics technician exam and was able to solder and breadboard circuit boards in his timed competition.

Professor Dave Ward, advisor of the SUU SkillsUSA chapter explains that every contest has a grading matrix and students know ahead of time what they’ll be judged on, including even a small portion of their score coming from student’s professionalism.

“SUU students sign up if they are interested in competing and I send them their judging matrix so they can prepare to compete,” said Professor Dave Ward. “How they perform in the competition is a testament to everything they learn in the classroom.”

SUU’s engineering technology prepared Smalley to his first place win at nationals and three other SUU students to compete at nationals after their first place state wins in computer programming and mechatronics contests.

“We’re are able to provide the resources to [students] with skills to successfully compete on the state and national level,” Ward enthusiastically explains. “The idea behind the motivation of the Engineering and Technology department is to produce students who are skilled and also well rounded in professionalism.”

Smalley has been hired by IMFlash Technologies in Lehi, Utah after earning the position during his paid internship from IMFlash during the summer of 2014. The position was offered to Smalley a year in advance.  

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