Electrical Engineering Alumni

Frank Dancer

What do you think about the LeTourneau program in EE?

The quality education I got at LETU paved the way for my career as a systems engineer at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   

I learned so much as an LETU student!  During my sophomore year, I spent a semester working as a co-op for a microprocessor company. That same year, I got involved in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) organization and helped as a lab assistant in the digital electronics and circuits I classes.  

As a junior, I was involved in the "Boeing Helicopter Stabilizer Platform" senior design project.  My partner and I received 2nd place in the 2003 International ASME Design Contest in Washington D.C.  Then, during my last summer at LETU, I worked on the biomedical engineering team and eventually became the senior design project manager. The projects I worked on, and the activities I was involved in while at LeTourneau, definitely prepared me for my career.

As graduation approached, the Career Services Department helped me develop my résumé and investigate different job openings.  I eventually received several job offers and accepted a position as a systems engineer for Rockwell Collins. 

My career is exciting because I am always learning about new things within the avionics and the aviation industries.  My first project on the job helped me understand the hundreds of input and output signals that drive the information pilots see on their cockpit displays.

Eventually, I was promoted to project engineer, only eight months after being hired.  In this new role, I use the project management and the senior design skills I learned during my senior year at LETU.  

I have seen first hand that companies, especially in the avionics industry, have high demand for new graduates in electrical and computer science engineering. Because fewer engineers are applying for jobs, the starting salaries are large, and there are lots of open jobs. Internship and co-op openings are increasing, so there is a greater chance of getting work experience before graduation.  Some companies even help pay toward your last semester.

Take advantage of these opportunities! 

Consider a career in electrical or computer engineering!

Jeff Piepmeier

Currently employed by NASA as a Microwave Radiometer System Engineer

What do you think about the LeTourneau program in EE?

LeTourneau's EE program provided me with a strong basis in the fundamentals of electrical engineering. The classroom and laboratory experiences were challenging and rewarding. My favorites were Dr. Graff's courses in electromagnetics. There I learned to apply my math skills, developed in Calculus III, to solving Maxwell's equations. LeTourneau faculty were especially effective in helping me to develop intuition about the behavior of engineering systems. In addition to the EE courses, I've benefited from the strong ME and GE courses. Having a diverse engineering background has proved invaluable in my career.

What are you currently doing with your degree?

I've been with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the Instrument Systems and Technology Division for the last five years. I recently started as the microwave radiometer system engineer on NASA's Hydrospheric States (HYDROS) Mission. HYDROS is a mission to measure the moisture content and the freeze-thaw state of soil around the globe and will be launched in 2010.

The microwave radiometer is used to measure the thermal microwave emissions from the Earth's surface, from which scientists determine the quantity of water in the first few centimeters of soil. As radiometer system engineer, I'm responsible for developing the instrument and ensuring its performance meets requirements. One particularly challenging problem is the development of the radiometer antenna. The antenna is a six-meter (twenty-foot) diameter spinning mesh reflector that will deploy once the spacecraft is in orbit. This will be the largest radiometer antenna for Earth observation ever flown in space.

Sarah Plymale

Graduated 2004

Currently pursuing Ph.D in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

What do you think about the LeTourneau program in EE?

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Electrical Engineering at LeTourneau. The Electrical Engineering program is grounded in the basics providing an excellent framework for students to go on into any related field. The faculty provides unparalleled support for their students in a learning environment that is both intense and fun.

What are you currently doing with your degree?

I am currently a first year PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University. During my time here, I hope to work with control systems particularly as they relate to the human body.

Mark Gunderson

Currently employed by Motorola in engineering management

What do you think about the LeTourneau program in EE?

I think the EE program at LeTourneau University is an outstanding engineering program that well equipped me for a long time career in the engineering industry. The broad training and technical depth covered all aspects of the engineering job. The personal interest shown by the professors is a tribute to the passion and commitment that LeTourneau shows in training students. The attitude has been instilled in my work and I have been working unto the Lord for the past 18 years.

What are you currently doing with your degree?

God has graciously allowed me to have been in the electronics industry working for Motorola's Automotive Division for the past 18 years. Most of that time has been spent in the design and development of electronic engine controls for automotive passenger cars and commercial on and off road vehicles.

The primary customers that I have worked with over the years are: Ford, Honda, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Cummins Engine Company, Toyota, Caterpillar, and Detroit Diesel. My designs are found in passenger cars, trucks, power plants, ocean liners, and tractors. The first 10 years of my career has been primarily spent in design engineering with the remainders of the years in engineering management. I am currently managing Motorola Automotive Powertrain's Advance Development Group.