Writer – Aisling Healy
Florida State College at Jacksonville South Campus offers an abundance of different clubs for students to attend throughout the semester. In fact, this past fall semester of 2015, the Engineering Club started. This club is open to all students interested, whether you are an engineering major or not. Professors Hamid Aidinejad and Kenneth Shacter are the organizers behind the club, and your connection with whom to speak to about it. They’re both professors in physics and engineering, and have high hopes for this club.
“The whole idea behind this club is to expose the students to the engineering field,” says Aidinejad, “We do everything we can. We bring experts from different fields; civil engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, to come and give us a lecture, and the students can see what engineering is all about. Hopefully after attending the club for one semester, they can make up their own mind if this is something they want to pursue.”
The club is currently held in the science building, after an engineering class ends, in hopes that those students taking the class will stay after to learn about the club. Aidinejad says, “You don’t have to be interested in engineering, it can be some other field, and you can use this club to get information for your own paper for different classes in the science field.
As many know, engineering requires a high level of mathematics, but the club is trying to focus solely on hands on projects, and getting you involved in what your career might actually be like in the real world.
“All of the base level classes instill in you a way of thinking, and a way of doing business, and introduce you to the tools that you’re going to be using, but they don’t really tell you what engineering is, and we’re trying to give them a broad overview of the different opportunities that you can do with an engineering degree,” says Shacter.
The club provides speakers that are engineers themselves. For example; Sam Fischer, the director of Aviation at Cecil field campus spoke about quadcopters, otherwise more commonly known as drones, and the rules and regulations behind them, as well as the fun, and entertaining part. He provided videos, and there was talk of maybe a drone contest within the club in the future.
There are field trips for the students to attend, as well as projects that are also being assigned in engineering classes. They had a trip to the civil engineers company, and just recently visited JEA where the students learned about the power plant and many of the fuels it needs, as well as the control room and learned about the steam cycle and how to produce electricity.
“JEA is an awesome place, and if you go to the plant, you see that these people do dangerous work in order to provide electricity for us. This is very good life lesson, not just for me, but for everyone that wants to be in that field,” says Aidinejad.
The engineering club recently brought in a speaker from WJCT, and has hopes to visit WJCT for a field trip as well.
“The expert from whatever certain field in engineering that visits will explain to them, okay this is what we do, and this is the expectations from us, and this is the average of the supposed job market, and they get a lot of information from somebody actually working that field.”
Kyle Munford is the president of the Engineering Club and is currently majoring in mechanical engineering. It’s interesting, challenging and there’s job security. You’re always going to need engineers,” says Munford. “These classes that you take are tough, so it’s easy to get dissuaded, and if someone comes in that’s already an engineer of some sort and says, ‘oh yeah, I’ve retaken that class and it’s a beast’, it makes you feel a lot better about the fact that sometimes you might stumble, but you have to keep going forward.”
Munford talks about how many students don’t even know that intro engineering classes are being held at FSCJ, therefore nobody will know to attend the club. Munford, as well as the professor’s main focus is to get students involved with the club that are interested in the engineering field, or for non-engineering students to attend the club and become educated, as well as enjoy themselves.
“The more people that participate in the club, means the more application based activities that the club can provide for us,” says Munford.