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Grant McDonald

Grant McDonald ’24  

Why did you decide to study engineering?  

I decided to study engineering because I have a passion for mathematics, technology and innovation.

What classes have been your favorite so far?

Embedded Systems and Principles of Engineering Design. In both classes, I was able to work in teams to design and build systems or machines. I found it very fulfilling to put a lot of work into a project and be able to see a finished product that functioned the way my team designed it to.

Tell us about a unique experience or project you’ve worked on for your major.  

I have been a part of the Whitworth CubeSat project for about three years. This is a student-led, faculty-advised satellite design project at Whitworth. I have been the microcontroller team leader since fall of 2022. Not only has it given me the experience of working on an aerospace project, but it has also provided me with a great opportunity to develop my professional and leadership skills as a team leader.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in engineering?  

If you love solving hard problems, engineering is right for you. There is a huge variety of problems to be solved and so many fulfilling career paths within this discipline. You must love the grind though. A degree in engineering is not for the faint of heart. P.S. I was told this before I started my degree and did not believe it – I was mistaken.

What’s your dream job?  

My dream job is to work for a company that creates technologies that make the world a better place. I want to make a positive impact on the world through my work, so I would love to be in a position that allows me to do that.

Who has made a difference for you at Whitworth?

My advisor, Dr. Kamesh Sankaran, has been a huge influence in my time at Whitworth from helping me decide what internships I should do, to providing me with wisdom on balancing my school, work and home life. Dr. Philip Measor, my professor for multiple semesters, has had a large influence on my passion for electrical engineering and has given me many tips about the engineering industry that will help me throughout my professional career. Finally, my closest classmates Micah Heil, Dylan Owen and Dominic Gusman have helped keep my spirits up through the hard times and provided a great support system for when I needed help. I also want to give a shoutout to the rest of my professors and classmates that have supported me and helped me succeed throughout my time at Whitworth.

Ryan GradyRyan Grady '22 

Why did you decide to study engineering?

I've always been up for a challenge, and the difficulty of the degree is something that I was excited to tackle. I have a deep passion for designing, building and understanding how things work. I chose to study engineering because I love solving complex problems, learning exciting new skills, and growing the friendships my peers and I have made as we work on projects together.

What are some of your favorite classes so far? 

My favorite class at Whitworth has been Fluid Mechanics & Heat Transfer. I've spent my life doing sports in and on the water. It was exciting to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of fluids, and apply that knowledge to my sports.

Tell us about a unique experience you've had or project you've worked on for your major. 

Working on Whitworth's capstone design project has been an amazing new experience. My peers and I have had to learn a completely new engineering system and design improvements for it that meet actual industry standards. A unique part of this experience is that our group is doing a lot of different types of engineering all at once. We are simultaneously developing electrical, mechanical and software systems for this project. I have really enjoyed growing my skills and working with my peers on this project.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in engineering?

My advice would be to invest in faculty relationships early on and to always ask for help if you are stuck. Some of the best moments in my education have come from conversations with professors. They are so invested in the students here and really want us all to learn and grow. Classes here are tough, and asking your classmates for help or working on homework together is a very rewarding experience. Some of my closest friends at Whitworth have come from studying for classes together.

What's your dream job?  

My dream job would be to work as a systems engineer. As a systems engineer, you have to take a lot of different parts of a project and integrate them together. You also need to communicate your ideas and solutions effectively so that the system ends up working well as a finished product. The education here at Whitworth provides an in-depth understanding of many different elements of engineering and how they fit together. Whitworth also cultivates a culture of good communication through strong writing and oral presentations, something I have appreciated as I work on job applications and interviews.

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why? 

Dr. Measor has been an amazing professor and mentor. He has always encouraged me to look at the bigger picture and challenged me to think creatively about problems and come up with unique solutions to them. He has also pushed me to develop my faith in engineering and pursue career development opportunities.

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