First engineering grad students complete degrees in August

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The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering has reached a milestone as its first graduates of the Master of Science in Engineering Management program will receive their diplomas in August.

Engineering masters gradsStefan Bobot and Tim Gerrard are the first students in Lipscomb University history to receive graduate degrees in engineering. The program launched in fall 2012. Currently, 14 students are enrolled in the program.

Bobot, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Ohio State University, is a construction superintendent at Baron Construction LLC in Nashville. Gerrard is a new model quality engineer at M-Tek. He received an undergraduate degree from Tennessee Technological University. Both worked full time while pursuing their graduate degrees.

“Stefan and Tim were anchors of the class,” said Justin Myrick, dean of the college. “As the first two graduates, they will represent our program in an excellent way. We will miss them.”

Gerrard said his graduate studies will help propel his career.

“It is commonly known that engineers often get tunnel vision when focused on a particular task,” he said. “But, this program has made me aware of how all departments in an organization are interrelated to engineering in one form or another. This has helped me to learn to look at the big picture.”

Through Lipscomb’s program, Gerrard said he built relationships with engineers “from all walks of life, all different educations and disciplines, and all different career levels.”

“By blending these new friends and business contacts together in meaningful interactive classroom environments, valuable working knowledge of the engineering world surfaced,” he said.

Bobot said he felt an excitement from the faculty that infused the program.

“The enthusiasm of the faculty for the program translates well to students as they journey through the program,” said Bobot. “They exemplify creative thinking through experience and trial and error.”

“The faculty were amazing,” Gerrard agreed. “Their combination of real-world experience, coupled with their previous teaching experiences made their classroom instruction very relevant.”

Employers noted how the graduate program enhances their employees.

“This degree will place Tim in a position in which he can stop fixing problems and start solving them,” said M-Tek’s Geoff Songer, who recommended Gerrard for the program. “Tim will add to the program as much as he takes from it. He has a way of inspiring others around him to strive not just to achieve, but to excel.”

The program also benefits by having students who work in the engineering field.

“I appreciate how our students share on-the-job experiences with the class,” said Wayne Castleman, applied engineering statistics professor. “We are searching for students of this caliber, like Tim, to provide a rich interactive learning experience for all students in each class meeting.”

The master’s program was specifically designed for mid-career practicing engineers who want to prepare themselves for upper management roles in a technically focused organization, Myrick said.

Applications are being accepted for fall. Find out for more information on the Graduate Engineering webpage.