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Graduate Spotlight: Reitmaier uses software engineering skills to develop app for Nissan USA

Kim Chaudoin  | 

Ian Reitmaier

When Ian Reitmaier enrolled in a programming class his senior year of high school he had little idea that class would spark a passion that would guide his college decision and career choice. 

This May, Reitmaier graduated from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Science degree in software engineering, valuable real-world experience and a job.

“The main reason I decided to pursue a job in this field was because of a programming class I took my senior year of high school. It gave me the opportunity to learn new programming languages that I didn't know and I fell in love with the challenge of it,” explains Reitmaier, of Franklin, Tennessee. “There is no better feeling than spending 10+ hours on an assignment and then finally finishing it.”

Reitmaier says he chose Lipscomb as the place to pursue his love of computing because of the intimate class sizes. 

“I knew that if I went to a big school I would just be a name on a page to every teacher,” he says. “But at Lipscomb, I was able to make amazing connections with every teacher and get the best learning experience I could've ever asked for. If I could do it all over again knowing what I know now I would not change a thing. My experience here has been nothing short of amazing.”

At the beginning of Reitmaier’s senior year this past fall, he was approached by Associate Professor Steve Nordstrom about the opportunity to create an application for Nissan USA in one of his classes. With Nordstrom’s encouragement, Reitmaier became the team lead for the project and assembled a team of students — Alex Nordhoff, Bryce Martin, Colin Santee and Parker Nordstrom. Two teams competed to develop this app and to see which one ultimately would win and go into production. 

“After a long hard semester, my team came on top,” says Reitmaier. “Our group absorbed some of the other team and began to develop the rest of this application which we needed to have finished by April 15. We hit that mark in record time and were able to put an app on the app store and the google play store.”

The app is called "PQE Reserve.” It is a car pool management service that helps the parts quality engineers at Nissan reserve a car from a certain pool of cars they own. They reserve these cars to drive from plant to plant testing the quality of the parts at other plants. 

At Lipscomb, I was able to make amazing connections with every teacher and get the best learning experience I could've ever asked for. If I could do it all over again knowing what I know now I would not change a thing. My experience here has been nothing short of amazing. — Ian Reitmaier

“Their previous system was not ideal and would require them to go into the office after a long drive, return the car and remember where they had parked it and the mileage they had,” Reitmaier explains. “We automated that for them in an app. We utilized their location services on their phone to record the location when they return it as well as having them input the current mileage all while sitting in the car and not having to boot up their laptop or go into the office. Our app also facilitates the reservation process.”

Reitmaier credits Nordstrom and Dwayne Towell, associate professor, with being his “biggest inspiration” while at Lipscomb. “They have really helped me see my potential and strived to push me to succeed in whatever challenge I take on,” he says. 

Completing his degree “feels amazing,” he admits. “Not many people can do what we software engineers can do, so to be able to say I have completed a four-year degree and led a team to bring an application to production for a huge company is just an amazing feeling.”

While at Lipscomb, Reitmaier was a member of Tau Phi social club and was part of the Lipscomb Intercollegiate Programming Competition team, which represented the university in programming competitions. 

Lipscomb has been home to Reitmaier for most of his life, as he first enrolled at the institution as a kindergartener. 

“I have been at Lipscomb since I was in kindergarten — 17 years,” he says, “and I wouldn't change it for anything. I am very thankful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am today and I am excited to open this next chapter of my life.”

Next up for Reitmaier is beginning his career in the computing and information technology field as an application developer at HCA in Nashville. 

“I am super happy to start my career at such an amazing company,” he says, “and am excited for what is to come!”