Founder & Director of Engineering, Kall Morris Inc
Lead our company’s engineering team in the design, build, test, and certification process of creating a spacecraft to rendezvous with and capture orbital debris objects.
Amongst the many memorable experiences from my time at Invent@NMU, the one that remains top of mind for me is the setup of a small-scale production line for the Tinknocker Tool. John Walsh, Trevor Pianga (two fellow Invent@NMU alumni), and I worked with Cale Polkinghorne to coordinate a project for his advanced machining course to create the first 50 production units, after having finalized the final prototype design. This gave all of us students the opportunity to work in a production-like environment, maintaining machining tolerances, running multiple setups, improving code for optimized runtime, and creating actual commercial products, which is something that few students get the privilege to experience while still in college.
My time at Invent@NMU solidified for me that my passion is in prototyping and developing new things. I spent some time after graduation working in the manufacturing industry, which has its own daily engineering challenges to overcome, but didn’t present me with the same sorts of challenges as what I had grown to love in product development and design. Having learned and validated that belief, I was able to reposition myself within industry to take on a role in aviation R&D, which eventually led me down the path of starting my own aerospace R&D company with two fellow NMU alumni.
Get involved. Going to classes is hugely important, and should be supplemented with finding a way for you to practice and apply that knowledge to something outside the classroom. It might be working at Invent@NMU, or joining the Baja Racing Team, or finding a group of individuals within your prospective industry and starting your own organization. Whatever field of study you are pursuing, do your best to get as much hands-on experience in it as you can, as soon as you can. Not only does that give you the best opportunity to validate that you enjoy that field, but it also gives you a chance to experience some of what your particular field has to offer, and allows you to practice overcoming some of the obstacles that you will have after graduation.
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