Let's Go Mountaineers
As our students complete their academic careers, we hope that their experience in the Statler College creates a positive foundation for the next chapter of their engineering path as WVU alumni. Below graduates from varying classes lend their insight and to the importance of diversity in engineering fields, their inspiration for entering the field and the first time they felt like an engineer.
Sadaf SarwariJunior Software Engineer at Leidos
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, WVU 2020
"Engineering and STEM fields are disciplines born out of people thinking 'outside the box,' challenging conventional norms, and taking the extra step to transform the impossible into something tangible. Being able to hear and acknowledge the ideas and words of everyone who has a vision for change in these fields is key to fostering further growth in today's world."
President of Utility Advantage, LLC
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, WVU 1984
"Diversity brings an abundance of different ideas and solutions that otherwise would be overlooked with a homogenous team. Brainstorming a diverse set of ideas also builds a hybrid of better solutions. Diversity is good for morale, innovation and profitability."
Gbolahan "Bugzy" Idowu
Manufacturing Equipment Engineer at Tesla
B.S Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, M.S Mechanical Engineering, WVU 2017
"I decided to pursue engineering after being inspired by the ways engineering shapes, changes and improves people's lives. From consumer products to aviation and even healthcare, engineering is one of the few disciplines that touches every aspect of the human life and attracted people from all works of life. Hence, it is very necessary to recognize the key contributions that diverse individuals bring to the continued growth and development of this field."
Senior Business and Technology Delivery Analyst at Accenture
Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, WVU 2018
"In the real world STEM projects are limited by budgets and timelines, to be successful a team needs to have a set of diverse thinkers proposing unique solutions in the safest, fastest, and most cost effective manner."
Bridge Engineer at AECOM
Master of Science in Civil Engineering, WVU 2020
"Diverse thinking adds a layer of safety and quality control to each project because new perspectives catch mistakes of all sizes and provide enhancements that would have otherwise been overlooked."
Emissions Certification and Compliance Engineer at Cummins
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, WVU 2015
"Diverse thinking adds flair, improves creativity and promotes growth. It always yields a unique solution that one person cannot come up with."
Analyst at M&S Consulting
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, WVU 2018
"I’d say diverse thinking is important in all aspects of our life, and equally important to diverse thinking is creating an environment where everyone feels safe to share their thoughts. Diverse thinking allows for different perspectives to be analyzed before a conclusion is reached. I think that not only reduces the chances of bias, but also increases the chances of reaching an optimal solution."
Systems Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, WVU 2017
"The best engineering solutions require bold, novel thinking. When organizations rely on the same people from the same background, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation they are limiting the number of unique experiences brought to the table. Once an organization brings diverse thinking to the table, it is everyone's responsibility to create a space where all ideas are heard and appreciated. This allows for the 'what if we...' moment, where those bold ideas and novel concepts are born."
Project Engineer at Ecolab
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Business Minor, BMEG Certificate, WVU 2019
"Diverse thinking is extremely important to make sure as engineers we are coming up with the 'best' solution, not just 'a' solution. Thinking as a team allows various perspectives, experiences, and ideas to be brought to the table, typically leading to a more successful design than one individual could produce."
Rouzbeh Yassini "Father of the Cable Modem"
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, WVU 1981
"My education at WVU and subsequent invention of the cable modem came from collaborations of diverse minds. Different backgrounds, experiences, Race, Religion, Euthenics, and solid education only fuel the creativity and true innovation in solving today's challenges."
Design Engineer at MEDSIX
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, WVU 2017
"Diverse thinking is crucial to excel in a STEM field. The more diverse a person's thinking is, the more wide the range of their perspective and the more creative and innovative their solution to problems are. And that is essential, especially in our fast-paced, and ever-changing world."
CAD/Design Automation Engineer at Intel
Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, WVU 2014
"It’s sometimes great to get a perspective from diverse minds because it brings more ideas to the table, and opens up the discussion for how best to achieve a common goal. It also makes for a productive and conducive work environment."
Field Technical Advisor at Pro Frac LLC
Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering , WVU 2015
"In Engineering and STEM fields you will face complex challenges that will always require a group of diverse yet like minded individuals to obtain solutions and achieve goals set forth."
Science and Technology Strategic Plans and Programs at US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, WVU 1998
MBA, WVU 1999
"It is easy to gravitate toward those just like us, but I've seen that often limit creativity and new ideas. Varied experiences, unique perspectives, and different viewpoints enhance problem solving methodology."
General Program Coordinator at Coda Mountain Academy
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, WVU 2019
"I decided to become an engineer because I value satisfying the needs of others. In order to do that, it takes design methodologies, considering needs and the engineering principle of problem solving and experimentation. An engineer dedicates their work to bettering the world around them any chance they get. That's the kind of thinking that I have when it comes to real-world issues and where I can step in. I have seen how my skills and educational experience has equipped me to serve my community and improve the education system during a time of crisis. Stepping back from a mindset focused on a 'degree' and the 'expected' path that an engineer should follow to be considered successful, allows for the opportunity to be flexible, to become a solution, to serve people and not work, and above all else, make a difference."
Mining Pre-field Representative at Caterpillar, Inc.
Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, WVU 2018
"Diversity in STEM allows for different approaches/perspectives while facing problem-solving situations."
Sr. Director Logistics at Procter and Gamble
Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, WVU 1996
"Bringing people of diverse backgrounds together leads to better ideas and better solutions. When everyone feels like they can be themselves at school or work, they are more productive, creative and engaged. Diverse and inclusive teams are not only more successful, but more enjoyable to work in."
Hypersonic Weapons Program Manager at John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, WVU 2007
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, WVU 2007
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, WVU 2011
"Engineering is about being innovative to tackle tough problems. We need different perspectives to solve these challenges, and we can do this by bringing people together who don’t approach problems in the same way. It is critical to ensure each person on the team feels like they have a voice they can share without judgment. This inclusion allows us to maximize the benefits of that diversity and build upon the ideas of others. We need diverse thinking in engineering because the ideas that come from inclusive teams are often beyond what any of the individuals on that team could have imagined alone. Who knows? That elevated idea may just be the next game-changer."
Bernard E. Cothran
Patent Examiner at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, WVU 2009
"Two great minds don't think alike, so being a diverse thinker gives you the ability to understand another creative mind."
Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, WVU 2016
"Diversity brings different opinions when solving problems. Formulation of various ideas based on opinions helps to sharpen our logical thinking ability and leads towards curiosity. Logic and curiosity are at the core of engineering and STEM."
Lead Math and Technology Teacher at Al Ihsan School of Excellence
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and Biometric Systems, WVU 2013
“The most damaging phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’.”-Grace Hopper
"For progress to occur, we need variety in ideas and thinking processes. As you need an opposite rough surface to sharpen a smooth blade, we need different minds to sharpen our own against. Our diverse life experiences uniquely shape our brains to approach problems from different angles, and bringing these different angles together is what allows us to build the whole shape of an exemplary solution."
Petroleum Engineer, Mbakop, LLC
M.S. Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, WVU 2020
"I decided to become an engineer because I not only want to help improve people's lives by solving problems, but also to inspire other African Americans to pursue an engineering degree."
Director of Operations and Engineering, PDQ Pickup
B.S. Industrial Engineering, WVU 2002
"I first felt like I was an engineer when I was interning at a carpet factory my junior year. I spent week taking samples and working with operations. I remember being asked by a higher-up on how I would go about solving a problem and that's when it really sunk in that I was an engineer."
Electrical Engineer, Pacific Architects and Engineers
B.S. Electrical Engineering, WVU 2019
"I truly felt like an engineer for the first time when I saw the design I created to get fabricated. It was so exciting to see the UAB fly around knowing that I created the electrical system for it."