Graduate Testimonial

Name:Brad Thomas
Status: Graduate
Years working in field: 3
Field Type: Engineering
Title: High Performance Systems & Networking Engineer

What are your thoughts on ECET?
I’ve had a great experience in the ECET program at MCC. It covers such a wide variety of computer engineering- from programming languages to digital analysis of electronic circuits. My favorites were the courses which covered high performance computing technology and networking in particular.

What attracted you to ECET?
I’ve actually moved from the Big Island to Maui because I liked the layout of the ECET program so much- how it gives you much more than just electronics type courses, and focuses on a breadth of software aspects of computing as well as hardware. I was also attracted to how some courses are designed to prepare you for taking professional certification exams, which are very valuable in the IT field.

What projects have you done? Or currently doing?
• Simulated a Wide Area Network in which supercomputers communicated over a grid environment. This was my last Capstone class. Cool project! 

• Worldwide project out of Vienna University, singularly responsible for instituting video uplink from one of twelve video displays from around the world.
( See http://www.sunpendulum.at/sunpendulumindex1.html )

How has/had/have your internship(s) benefitted you educationally? Or in the field?
The first internship I had was working at Maui Police Department for IT/Networking support. This was my first job in the IT field, so it gave me a good feel for this job environment. This was a great experience which I believe helped push me to where I am today.
Another internship I had was programming robots and building electronic circuits on them to perform tasks, this project was fundraised by NASA. I was able to work on this summer internship in the comfort of the ECET lab at MCC. Fun stuff!!!

What do you like most about your internship(s)?
Besides getting paid? Just kidding (that was just a huge bonus)… As I mentioned above, the two internships I had really kick started my career in the Engineering field. When people would ask how my robot project was going in my summer internship, I enjoyed joking about having all the pressure in working for “NASA”! (even though I wasn’t actually working for them, but rather getting the funding by them).

If you could say something to high school students or someone changing professions, who is looking at ECET, what would you say to them?
I would emphasize to them that the courses can get pretty math and formula intense, so they may need to come prepared for that. If math is not a big issue, then I would highly recommend this program for the wide variety of courses it offers in the Engineering field. The ECET program requires a great deal of dedication and commitment… but it is a very rewarding experience in the end!

Anything else interesting we should know?
I have extended my AS degrees from the ECET program to a Bachelor’s in Computer Science from American Sentinel University, which I am finishing up this month. I’ll be pursuing for a Masters in Computer Science or similar program thereafter (that is, if my head doesn’t explode).
If there is an acknowledgments section, I would definitely give a special thanks to three core ECET teachers: Mark Hoffman (ECET coordinator, taught the Electronics courses), Stuart Zinner (taught the Networking courses), and Sandra Swanson (taught the Unix/Linux and programming courses). These three teachers were always available for help when needed, and I couldn’t fill out an ECET survey without thanking them for all of their help!