Alumni Spotlight: Patrick Baker
Have you thought about what you would like to do with your degree once you graduate? Do you dream of working for a company at the forefront of their field? Well, don’t stop dreaming! Alumni, Patrick Baker, is proof that a degree from the College of Aeronautics and Engineering (CAE) at Kent State University (KSU) will give you the ammunition you need to make your dreams come true!
Patrick is currently completing his last semester in his Master of Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering degree. Once he graduates, he will be moving to Nevada to work at Tesla as a Control Systems Engineer, a job he was able to obtain through the network he created at KSU.
Besides being an all around outstanding student, one of the main reasons Patrick was extended an offer for this position was due to an internship he completed with Tesla as an undergraduate student. “If you work somewhere and are ever interested in returning, make sure to stay in contact with those people! The only way they'll remember you is by keeping that communication line open - it’s up to you to make sure they don’t forget you,” he advises.
Interning at Tesla was not the only internship Patrick completed – it was one of the five internships that he had as an undergraduate student. I don’t know about you, but we’re impressed!
A little bit about Patrick: he is from Greenfield, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Hempfield High School in 2017. Patrick immediately continued on to KSU to pursue his bachelor's degree in Applied Engineering. He soon after discovered his passion for sustainability through taking Clean Energy and Sustainability classes with Dr. Yanhai Du.
Not only was Sustainability his favorite class, but it also helped him gain an understanding of what engineers can do to make the world a better place. He even participated in fuel cell research with Dr. Du where his projects focused on finding a sustainable form of energy, something that he would love to see the CAE focus more on in the future. This is also how chose his current career path; he asked himself “where can I make the greatest impact doing what I'm most passionate about?”
In addition to completing an internship with Tesla in 2020, Patrick worked on the SpaceX Starship Program in Cape Canaveral for five months post graduation. The SpaceX Starship program is working to create the largest rocket ever made, and the first rocket to reach Mars. Patrick worked on the heat shield development team as a thermal hardware controls engineer - how cool is that?
Patrick Baker is a great example of how to take advantage of all the opportunities that a degree from the College of Aeronautics and Engineering can provide. His advice for current students working towards their degree is to:
“Find a topic or field you are passionate about and don't focus too much on the end goal. Make sure to have fun along the way and surround yourself with people that will encourage you to pursue your work, even if others think you are making the “wrong” move.”
Smart advice from one smart guy!
For more information about the Master of Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering degree, please visit https://www.kent.edu/cae/graduate-programs