BS May 2020, MS December 2022, PHD December 2025
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Graduate Program: MS Engineering: Electrical, PHD Computational Science: Computational Engineering
Check out this blog about Josh’s story.
“I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering (EE) here at UTC in 2020. During my studies, I took Electromagnetic Fields and Waves with Dr. Reising. Over the duration of that class, I saw how dedicated he was to solving problems and not simply just doing a job. The next year, I took his Digital Signal Processing course and instantly fell in love with the material. My final year, I completed my senior project with him as my advisor, and we found that we had a lot of the same methodologies and philosophies about the scientific method. From that, I decided that I wanted to pursue a thesis-based MS with him as my advisor. What made the effort possible was the availability of a research assistantship with him that covered tuition, maintenance fees, and a stipend. Once I was accepted for both the degree and assistantship, the MS was the obvious path to pursue.”
How is the graduate program helping you get to your goal?
“My eventual goal is to become a researching scientist at an internationally recognized laboratory. Oak Ridge is currently the most attractive option. I have already been accepted to the Ph.D. in Computational Engineering through the SimCenter to continue my work with Dr. Reising, which will give me the credentials needed for that career. The capabilities that I have been able to develop over the course of the MS program have been significantly beneficial to making me capable of pursuing that goal. I have learned a lot about pursuing hypothesis and ensuring quality experiments.”
What have you liked about the graduate program?
“I have liked the research opportunities provided. I have a lot of research interests, and I haven’t felt at all stuck to one single topic. My advisor and I have worked with multiple agencies and completed projects that span the field of EE. The work that we have done has allowed us to build up an effective laboratory that gives us the ability to pursue even bigger research efforts.”
Did you take any online courses?
“I did take two online courses in my first semester. The benefit of that availability is that I was able to do them at my own time. Being a research assistant, my schedule was not uniform across weeks. Having the flexibility to dedicate time to the research and complete the course work at a more convenient time that week was helpful.”
What opportunities have you had during your degree to gain other skills?
“My main opportunities at UTC have been research-based. As a research assistant, I have been able to publish two papers to the flagship conferences of my field. I have been able to participate in research focused on improving the security of our critical infrastructure. Directly working on topics of that magnitude has been very personally rewarding. I think that everyone wants to be able to make some kind of positive difference in the world, and UTC CECS has made that possible for me.”
Have you had support from CECS faculty/staff?
“I have had lots of support from the UTC CECS staff, mainly Dr. Reising. He has mentored me and helped increase my efficacy as a researching scientist tremendously. My thesis committee members, Dr. Kaplanoglu & Dr. Kandah have been helpful in guiding me along the scientific process. I have also been privileged enough to work with Dr. Loveless and contribute to his work on understanding radiation effects on electronics.”
How has the program helped you?
“This program has been a tremendous blessing for me. I have really been able to stretch out and explore my field with little to no limits. In high school and even somewhat in undergrad, it was about completing coursework and moving on. As a graduate student, I have been given the liberty to expand and really dive into my work and get course credit for it. I took the thesis route for classes, which replaces one traditional class per semester with a “thesis research” course. Having this option to alleviate a course load to pursue research was a boost to the quality and amount of research I was able to pursue.”
What has been the best part of your experience?
“The best part of the program is the amount of interdisciplinary research being done. I’ve worked across a lot of projects and met a lot of intelligent and dedicated researchers across CECS. All of them have been great to work with and we’ve been able to get a lot of good work done.”
Advice for any incoming graduate students?
“I strongly encourage others to consider applying to pursue an MS at UTC. Before applying, I suggest going and talking to professors in the field of study. All of them are approachable and ready to find a way to help out. Even after deciding that I wanted to become a master’s candidate, I talked to a lot of professors in CECS about it. UTC’s strength lies in its community, so the best avenue for success is coming out and getting to know people here.”
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