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Engineer of the Month Mixes ME & MBA to Manufacture Solutions of Tomorrow

By:    Staci Jones
Date: December 1, 2016

Nathan Ball, senior mechanical engineering ACCEND student, is the Engineer of the Month at the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) for the month of December.

Nathan ball

Nathan Ball had always had a desire to follow in the footsteps of his parents and siblings by attending the university that he had grown so familiar with through childhood – the University of Cincinnati. The cooperative education program (aka “co-op”) offered by CEAS officially sealed the decision for Nathan.

“Coming in as a mechanical engineering student and knowing that I would have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in industry during my undergrad, gave me the confidence to know that I would be well prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation,” said Ball.

Ball’s interest for mechanical engineering started with his curiosity for operational objects and his wanting to understand how numerous parts work together to make a functional machine or product. He states that his strengths in math and science during high school also pushed him to pursue engineering as a potential major.

After selecting what he wanted to pursue as a major, Ball decided to enroll in the ACCEND program in order to better market himself, “having an MBA on top of a BS in mechanical engineering would expand my knowledge base and career opportunities”.

“I have had to take more than 18 credit hours every school semester since I was a Pre-Junior, as well as online classes during my co-op semesters. I am also heavily involved on campus,” stated Ball.

Ball is a member of the International Co-op Program, the ACCEND Program and the Engineering and Applied Science Tribunal. Many of the challenges that he has faced as an engineering student are directly related to managing time efficiently in both his studies and leadership roles.

Though time management has served as a challenge for Ball, he advises all students to take advantage of the opportunities that UC has to offer.

“As a result of my involvement, I have learned so much about what goes on in the college and the university. UC has a lot of great opportunities and programs that often go unappreciated. If people are proactive in searching out opportunities that align with their passions, they will be able to greatly supplement their learning with awesome experiences,” said Ball.

One of the experiences that Ball credits as his proudest achievement was his final two co-ops which took place in Kurashiki, Japan for the JFE Steel Corporation. Through his time there, Ball was able to immerse himself in a different a culture and learn a new language. He says that his ability to communicate grew immensely, and that he was also able to gain a better overall understanding of Japanese language and culture. He worked in electrical engineering and states that, though outside of his major, his experiences aided in expanding his knowledge to include aspects of electrical engineering.

Ball’s first three co-ops were at Kinetic Vision, an engineering consulting firm in Cincinnati. Ball was given a lot of responsibility early on, and was able to apply some of the management concepts that he was starting to learn through his MBA curriculum.

“I like that I have the opportunity to work with and utilize the latest and greatest technologies. I will consistently be working on the forefront of technology, aiming to provide products and solutions for the future,” stated Ball.

Upon graduation in 2017, Ball hopes to see his work utilized in the real word and plans to pursue full-time work, hopefully in research and development.

On behalf of College of Engineering and Applied Science, congratulations to Nathan Ball on your outstanding achievements thus far and as the December Engineer of the Month.

Select for previous Engineers of the Month.