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Student Experiences

Read what current graduate students and alumni have to say about their CECS experience.


Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Computer Science

Engineering Management



Uday Gharge

MS ‘18

Hometown: Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India

Current Job: Chemical Engineer, SKAPS Industries

MS Program: Chemical Engineering


“Because of their advanced course structure and excellent research work, UTC helped me to gain specialized knowledge to advance in my current field.  I took online courses for three semesters.  The best things about online courses are there’s no need to go to school and you can easily access all the lectures, notes, assignments and exams through an online university account. Most importantly my master's courses are really helping me to understand all engineering-related skills.

As I was new in this country, many professors and seniors assisted me to explore the departmental activities, with registration for the proper subjects, and provided guidance for research work. There are many professors I reached out for guidance but Dr. Soubantika Palchoudhury, Dr, Neslihan Alp, and Dr. Prakash Dhamshala helped me a lot while pursuing a master's study.

During my master's study I got many opportunities such as working as a Research Assistant and having research work on Nanotechnology. In my last semester I got an Internship opportunity at ARCH Plastics, Chattanooga. I was also a member of the Graduate Student Association, an International Student organization, and spent a good time with many students from different countries.  I really enjoyed my research work with Dr. Soubantika Palchoudhury on Nanotechnology and working as a teaching assistant to the Engineering Management department.” 

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Murad Al Qurishee

MS ‘19

Hometown: Noakhali, Bangladesh

Job: Graduate Transportation Associate, Research and Development of the Intelligent Transportation

System, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

MS Program: Civil Engineering


“One of my best decisions of my career was to choose the graduate study program in the UTC CECS. I chose UTC because of the advanced research opportunities, good number of lab set ups, and friendly faculty members. Along with my master’s degree in civil engineering, I got a Construction Management Post-Baccalaureate Certification without any extra cost.  The UTC MS program helped me to fulfill my career ambition 100%.

The quality of the online courses is good. I found UTC has made an easy access tool to get the online course materials, homework, as well as grade point tracking in a very handy way. Students don’t need to be an expert to submit, download, and communicate with the course instructors. Among all the amenities, I have found that the instructors were very active responding to email in a very short time.

The research that I did with Dr. Weidong Wu had created a door of opportunity in the Transportation Field. During the interview in TDOT, my boss selected me as a must-hire candidate out of 20 qualified candidates because of my strong academic background and research profile that I had gained from the UTC Master program.

The civil engineering department has very good and helpful faculty members I have ever seen in other universities. Moreover, the UTC international office serves as a parent in the USA. I can describe working with Dr. Wu as his teaching assistant in the area of Drone and Artificial Intelligence is the best part in my experience.

I made this drone footage while I was a student at UTC.”

drone photo

Drone Bridge Inspection Team using DJI Panthom 4 Pro

Checkout the ‘Murad Al Qurishee’ YouTube channel for video he captured as a part of his drone fly practice


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Ahmed Ibrahim

MS ‘20

Hometown: Khartoum, Sudan

Current Job: Research Associate, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

MS Program: Electrical Engineering


“I chose UTC CECS because I am academically interested in the Wireless communication research topics. I was looking for high quality engineering facilities, professors with great experience in the related research areas, and laboratories equipped with the necessary tools. UTC has provided me with these.

Through this MS program I have got both academic and practical knowledge in wireless communication, Signal processing, Network and Security.  This knowledge acts as building blocks to reach my ultimate goal.

The courses are comprehensive. The study program has four focuses that you can select from (i.e., communication, electronics, control, or power). Also, the faculty are patient and have a great knowledge and teaching experience.

This program made me ready and equipped with the required qualification and practical skills to enter the industry field.  The best part of my experience is learning research skills and develop methodologies to resolve technical issues.” 

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Matt Joplin

MS ‘18

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

Current Job: Radiation Effects Electrical Engineer, BAE Systems, Inc.

MS Program: Electrical Engineering


“I chose UTC CECS because Dr. Loveless recognized my work ethic and encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree. I was going into the workforce otherwise.  I had roots in Chattanooga, TN and I wanted to be at home and give back to the university by continuing to be a part of its growth in the community through the programs like the GigTank Accelerator

I liked that the instructors were very good with feedback, engaged, and interested in my development as well as becoming better at what they were doing. They really care about the students and are able to give individual attention.  In online courses, the interaction between students in the context of message boarding was an encouraging sight to see. If stuck on something, a student could go to a forum and crowdsource an explanation.

The CECS MSEE program prepared me for a high tech workforce in a specialized and competitive world and I have continued to thrive since my time there. I recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue a graduate degree in electrical engineering. The experience is what you make of it, and the effort I put into my studies there have paid off in kind.”

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Saroj Khanal

MS ‘19

Hometown: Hetauda, Nepal

Current Job: Graduate III - Electrical Engineering, US Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory

MS Program: Electrical Engineering


The main reason for choosing UTC CECS was its close collaboration with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and, of course, the power systems focused research, which I rarely find these days in U.S. universities. I came for my Master's from Nepal, the country of the Himalayas, where we have abundant hydropower resources. TVA's hydropower infrastructures and its footprint have always fascinated me. While browsing UTC CECS website, I saw power system labs funded by TVA, adjunct faculties from TVA, and of course, well-established professors, which attracted me to apply to UTC CECS. Last but not the least, the generous graduate assistantship I got helped me come to UTC CECS without any second thought.

I aspire to be an energy analyst. The wide array of coursework and research experiences that I had during my M.S. helped me get an internship at U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory at Golden, Colorado. My internship helped me broaden my perspectives, knowledge, and skills in the field of energy systems that are fundamentals to being an energy analyst. The rigorous courses and research experiences unlocked many avenues of my future interests.” 

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Cannon DeBardelaben

MS ‘21

Hometown: Franklin, TN

Current Job: Undergraduate Research Assistant at the SimCenter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

MS Program: Mechanical Engineering

I did my undergraduate, also in mechanical engineering, at UTC. I had an overall good experience and when Dr. Sreenivas (my advisor and research professor) suggested I apply for the master’s program, I decided to pursue a career in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). CFD is a field I became especially interested in my last few years of my undergraduate degree, and UTC has multiple professors who are very well experienced and respected in the field.

I eventually want to work at an aerospace company doing CFD analysis. I believe my degree so far has improved my problem-solving ability, and greatly increased my knowledge of the field and its related disciplines.  So far, all of the classes I have taken have been interesting, relevant to my field, and improved my problem solving and mathematics ability in some way.

I also like the size of my classes, ranging from 8 - ~30. It makes it so my professors are very accessible to ask for help or further explanation on topics from class.  I feel I have learned so much in just the short year I’ve been in the program so far.”

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Jeremy Roland

MS ‘20

Hometown: Signal Mountain, TN

Current Job: Graduate Assistant Student Researcher for CUIP

MS Program: Computer Science

“The straight forward classes and laid out schedule of classes has been by favorite feature of MS here. For undergrad, I had to take countless classes that had no bearing on my major, but all of my masters level classes have been teaching me valuable information I know I'll use.  The best part of an online course is the lack of a meeting time, so I can choose what days and what timeframe I want to set aside for that class, making my schedule much more flexible.

I've been doing research work for about 2 years now, which has been literally an invaluable experience in terms of learning and real world preparation. I've also been a part of the student ambassador program for CECS to improve my leadership and public relation skills.”

The main benefit from the MS program was the accompanying research work, which has been the greatest method of learning and preparation for my line of work.   The best part of my experience has been the opportunity to publish a paper to an international conference, and attend said conference presenting on my team's research results.” 

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Jon Machnacki

MS ‘20

Hometown: Canton, MI

Current Job: Engineering Manager, Caterpillar Inc.

MS Program: Engineering Management

“I applied a rigorous and methodical approach to my school selection process.  I considered overall cost, the quality of the online classroom experience, time to completion, rankings from various publications, and whether the curriculum offerings checked all the boxes I was looking for. 

Comparing the curriculum offerings was an interesting exercise.  I considered whether specific topics were “new” to me and got feedback from my leadership and Human Resources department regarding how useful they would be for my career growth.  UTC scored well in the areas of management science, entrepreneurship, strategic management, and product development. 

When I tallied up all the metrics, UTC emerged as the clear winner.  It was an easy sell to my HR department that this program was the right choice. 

There are many positives aspects about the program.  The diversity of courses is a big one.  Managers need a wide range of skills spanning leadership, financials, strategy, development, and quality.  The broad portfolio of course offerings is great. 

I would also highlight the interactions with students and teachers.  UTC has nailed how to make this effective in an online environment. 

Most importantly, I can consistently apply the material to both my professional and personal life.  I view formal education programs as a transfer of knowledge that leaves it up to the students to decide what are the “golden nuggets” of learning.  UTC made it easy to apply and reinforce the knowledge, and that is what I have been seeking.

All my courses were online.   The two benefits that stand out to me are flexibility and the overall organization of the courses and materials.  My job coupled with my family commitments can be demanding at times; the program allowed me to balance everything.

The clear takeaway is that this program helped fast-track me on a managerial career path.  It has provided me the knowledge and skills to effectively lead and develop a team, manage our deliverables, effectively communicate with stakeholders and customers, and articulate a strategy for the future. “   

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Anna Kate Tenpenny

MS ‘20

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

Current Job: Seeking employment in Providence, Rhode Island

MS Program: Engineering Management

“I chose UTC CECS for my master’s program because I fell in love with the Engineering Management Department during my undergraduate studies.  I love to problem solve and having this degree is going to help me obtain positions in process improvement.”

When asked if she took online courses, Anna responded “Yes.  I liked the ability to schedule my schooling around my personal and professional schedule. It helped me to be able to commit to all of the activities I was passionate about.”

“This program has helped me gain a deeper knowledge of engineering management and how that can apply to my career.  The friendships I developed with my professors during this program was truly a blessing. This made the stressors of life and school a lot less because I knew I had their support, and I enjoyed learning from them and working with them.“ 

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