Non-traditional Engineer of the Month Ascends the Odds in Aero

By: Staci Jones
Date: April 4, 2017

Justin Ouwerkerk, aerospace engineering-ACCEND senior, is the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Engineer of the Month for April.

Justin Ouwerkerk

In being a non-traditional student, locality and the ACCEND Program are what led Justin Ouwerkerk to choose UC CEAS.

 “I liked the idea of being able to complete an MS at the same time as my BS,” said Justin.

With past workforce experience, Justin focused on selecting a career route that he felt passionate about, “I was born in the TopGun era, and have always had a fascination with aircraft, and thus aerospace engineering was the degree route I chose.”

Justin enjoys all aspects of aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics, but mostly the emerging unmanned aerial systems being developed currently. One of his best memories as a UC student has been having a system that he developed be considered and tested for integration into a future helicopter project.

This accomplishment can be partially credited to his co-op experience where he learned to adapt to the research engineering environment.

Justin completed his co-op rotations at Engineering & Scientific Innovations, Inc., a small research engineering firm. It was his responsibility to conduct project design, testing, fabrication, and data processing.

“As a small company, I was afforded the opportunity to learn what proper research engineering is, and relished the chance to learn CAD and various coding languages,” said Justin.

Justin advises all students, traditional or non-traditional, to always keep their eye on the prize to ensure smooth sailing throughout their program.

Upon graduation, Justin plans on developing custom UAS systems for commercialization with Kelly Cohen, PhD and CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Professor, as his mentor.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science congratulates Justin Ouwerkerk on his outstanding achievements thus far and as the April Engineer of the Month.

Select for previous Engineers of the Month.