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Electrical Engineering Alumnus - Brad Henning

 

Brad Henning

 

I chose SDSU for a few different reasons. First, I knew I wanted to go into an engineering-related field. SDSU’s EE program had a proven track record, and with the brand-new facilities, classrooms and labs, it seemed to be a good fit. I wasn’t wrong. My older brother attended SDSU for Mechanical Engineering back in the 90’s, so that influenced my decision as well.

On the practical front, I’m from South Dakota, so the in-state tuition was a big plus and saved me a lot of money. The size of SDSU and Brookings was a perfect fit for me; not too big or too small. I could get to know my classmates and professors personally, but also feel part of something bigger at SDSU. 

One of my favorite SDSU EE moments was during "Microcontroller Systems." Over the course of a few days, my lab partner and I quizzed each other in order to prepare for an upcoming lab practical. Eventually, we both knew the material so well that we could make our own unique situational problems for our lab partner to figure out and solve. It was a very rewarding moment of teamwork and material mastery.

Currently, I am living in Washington, DC, and working full time as an electrical engineer with the National Geographic Exploration Technology team. Our role at Nat Geo is to design custom camera and lighting systems that we use on projects and expeditions in collaboration with our explorers, scientists, photographers and filmmakers. My job primarily revolves around designing custom controller circuit boards, embedded firmware development, and processing data from the field. 

There are so many new opportunities and fields of work opening up in electrical engineering! It's difficult to pick just one area of EE that I'm excited about for future graduates. Renewable energy, electric vehicles, advances in robotics and AI architectures and systems, advances in telecommunications, new space-borne sensors and science payloads to perform research with... there seems to be endless opportunities for graduates to work on amazing projects and go on to do great things. It's all incredibly exciting.

The best advice I can give to current EE students is to study hard (consistency over cramming), ask questions, manage and prioritize your time and always maintain a positive attitude. Know when to bunker down, but also make time to have fun and enjoy your journey as a student.