For the first time in 20 years, the spring semester was started by Professor Roy McGrag from Binghamton University.
As a member of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering for Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, McGragen has taught, taught, and befriended hundreds of students over the years. In the early months of his retirement, he had already lost his class.
“I love the impact teachers have on students,” he said. “I thought my education was very important and I wanted to pass that on to future generations.”
For many Wattson students, McGragen is known as the director of the first year Engineering Design Program (2004-08) and the co-founder and co-founder of the College’s Sustainable Engineering. Sustainable Child Launcher started in 2010 after students requested a curriculum on clean energy and environmental issues related to climate change.
“Much of the pressure was on students, and we knew we needed to develop this program,” he said. We had three courses first and we did everything by choice. Those three courses are now being studied in the design department of Engineering.
During his tenure, McGregon attended a more “traditional” Mechanical Engineering Design course in the fall and taught a computer-assisted engineering course.
“The way I taught ME design, the students had to complete the design,” he said. “They had to come up with a problem with a mechanical engineering solution, and then they understood and designed, up to the detailed drawings and specifications, to solve that problem.
“I met twice in a semester – the first meeting was 15 minutes and you explained your problem to me, then the second was up to 30 minutes and we will check your pictures and mark them. There were 240 meetings! ”
During the McGrann years at Watson, the most amazing students were excited to come up with new solutions to real world problems. He once said that it would be good if she had a cheap little robot to teach her a lesson about control, and the next day a talented student came up with an old CD robot and motherboard – a device that later developed a successful PhD thesis. Another time, a student (now working at a Ford Motor Company) made a full CD model of gas turbine.
“There were two types of students in the design course,” McGraren said. “One kind of ‘OK, I have to go through this. This is the only course required. ‘ Then the students were crying: ‘My God, I was finally able to do what I wanted. I started working on the problem I had been thinking about for years. ‘
Before coming to Binghamton, McGrahon received a degree in liberal arts from Brown University and thought to teach philosophy. But this did not continue; So he started working as a machine operator. Realizing that higher-level supervisors with a bachelor’s degree earned more money, he decided to pursue a BS in mechanical engineering at Tulsa University.
“After my first degree, I worked as an engineering manager for another 10 years, and then my company was sold,” he said. “I thought, ‘OK, this is a good time to finish my PhD.’ I returned to my counselor. [from the University of Tulsa] “Do you remember me?” Fortunately, they did.
Although he earned a doctorate in mechanical metallurgy, he moved to Binghamton to study engineering, which meant it was part of his “laboratory”. In 2008, he received the SUNY Chancellor of the Year Award for teaching.
He admired the influence of former Watson colleague Richard Culver in the new direction – and, as you would expect from a philosophical person, he had some ideas on how the role of engineering would fit into the wider community.
“There is a difference between those who think that engineering is like physics or science and that engineering is like sociology – this is a social practice and you need to develop responsibility in the students for what you do.”
He also has some ideas about self-discipline.
McGran has been in Colorado since his retirement and is enjoying his new life. As a reviewer in the engineering and technology accreditation board (ABET) accredited for postgraduate education programs in practice and natural sciences, computer, engineering, and engineering technology, he is involved in the world of engineering. It wants to engage more borderless engineers to expand projects in developing countries using its technology skills.
He also meets many of his students, celebrating their results and even attending some of their weddings.
“Over the years, I have had special graduate and undergraduate students who have continued to do good work. When you go out into the world and do a lot of work, you say, ‘OK, you paid attention!’ I think so. ” He was laughing.