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For the Love of Engineering

February 25, 2021

By Dr. Coray Davis, Chair and Professor of Engineering

The love to tinker and build, void of scientific reasoning, was most likely how many engineers and engineering technologists got their start. I can recall it, just like yesterday, at the age of eight, as I attempted to repair an old broken record player in my home. The process of discovering the problem, disassembly, remedying with a solution, and reassembly, brought excitement to the job at hand. The thrill it would bring, to hear it play music once more would soon be thwarted by failure, over and over again. “Where’s the sound?” This was definitely not my surmise, and was the beginning of something great. Plato, couldn’t have said it any better; “The beginning is the most important part of the work”. This is certainly the time at which our character begins to form and a desired impression is more readily taken. So how do we continue this love affair, with what could be engineering, but we do not know it as such, at this point?

As we transitioned our tinkering and building, our first stop to forming our character required filling a void, through the learning process. Many of us continued the path at home, while also participating in many K-12 and after school programs such as Project Lead the Way, First Robotics, NSBE jr, and numerous STEM Clubs. The delivery of many of project based learning experiences also came through many career and technical education (CTE) programs. Our passion grew to a point that we could begin to see ourselves making a contributing to society. We continued to used our skills gained in these activities to support excelling in core subjects in math and science. As an engineer and engineering technologist, the reliance on good math and science fundamentals is key to pursuing a STEM degree in college. We did well in these subjects. We even transitioned from tinkering with record players to now cultivating an interest in 3D printing and coding. Some of us even cultivated our soft skills and developed capabilities for public speaking, essentially bringing our ideas to life. Our foundation is starting to take shape and our desired impressions are making a name for themselves, but the void still needs more filling. The stage has been set to capture a broader level of learning. College life, here we come!

As we matriculate into College, we’ve now come to know that applying scientific and mathematical principles and perhaps, common sense will produce things that benefit people and society. Just as we identified our favorite instructors in the K-12 setting, we continue the same, with a knack for performing basic research with renown faculty in their field. Our association with clubs and organizations prepares for leadership roles on our campus. We are enthralled in honor societies and join organizations such as NSBE, SWE, and IEEE. We can now emphatically say that the skills we are developing are skills of an engineer. Our love for the engineering design process begins to take on a system’s engineering approach to solving problems. We begin to appreciate design for all that it is. Everything from designing bridges to life-saving medical equipment, to robotics and autonomous vehicles, to systems for mass transportation.

Through the extension of laboratories, we learn how to communicate across different technology platforms, understand the audience of these different platforms, and gain experience crafting effective messages that drive influence and decision making. What a valuable skill! Certainly, this is needed, no matter what the profession.

As we have progressed now into our careers, we realize that the journey to get to this point was well worth it. We thank those that have prepared us and are privileged to now be called “alumni”. We now commit ourselves to lifelong learning within the profession and pay homage to the engineering creed. We team together to provide the utmost performance and professional conduct to the task at hand.

At Capitol Tech, our students continue to hone their tinkering and building prowess. They truly embody our “Find a Way or Make One” approach.  Our engineering and engineering technology programs along with our superb lab spaces provide the knowledge and hands-on training needed to succeed in today’s society. From the rocketry that our Astronautical Engineering students design, build, and test, to the signal systems that our Electrical Engineers and Electronics Engineering Technology students analyze, and the design and automation of robots that our Mechatronics Engineering and Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Technology students engage in, each of these programs are in demand and Capitol Tech is excited to prepare you for a great career in engineering and engineering technology.

Each area of study includes coursework in engineering fundamentals, advancing into major coursework in engineering design and applications, culminating with the capstone project and bolstered by numerous laboratory experiences. Let’s continue to tinker and build!

Click here for more information about Dr. Davis and his goals for the Department or click here to explore Capitol Tech's engineering degrees in a variety of fields at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral levels.Dr. Coray Davis can be reached at