Student / Alumni Spotlight

Brenton JamesBrenton James

Mechanical Engineering alumni going after one more degree to add to his list

April 2019

Brenton James is a KSU Mechanical Engineering alumni. He has two bachelor degrees, one minor, one concentration, and many awards, scholarships, and internships.

After graduation he traveled to places such as the French Open in Paris, France and New York City. As an additive manufacturing intern, he also traveled to United Technologies headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut and Pratt and Whitney headquarters in East Hartford, Connecticut.

He is currently working at United Technologies - Pratt and Whitney at their Columbus Georgia site. He has been with them since October 2018 as a full-time manufacturing engineer working to develop the blades/vanes that go into jet engines.

He wants to pursue his masters in aerospace engineering at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University.


Cadmiel Velazquez-riveraCadmiel Velazquez-rivera

Mechanical engineering student making changes in the industry

March 2019

Cadmiel Velazquez-rivera is a current mechanical engineering student at Kennesaw State University. Cadmiel first started with a small internship at M+A Matting company. He was a manufacturing engineering intern. While there he saved the company $30,000 in labor. He studied the manufacturing/production of products being manufactured. Cadmiel utilized lean manufacturing and created work instructions for continuous improvement that could be made around the plant. He gained knowledge about quality control and product testing. Cadmiel assisted management by conducting time studies based on optimizing operations to maximize both speed and efficiency of mats being produced. He designed factory set up drawings to maximize efficiency of floor workers.

Cadmiel worked with automatic trim tables to boost daily production. He broke each individual role in the trimming process to its basic components to better understand how the process functions. Cadmiel timetabled the packing process to determine the most efficient way to pack products. He implemented specific work procedures on what is expected from each role.

Cadmiel created standard operating procedures based on task assigned by the plant. He incorporated the use of pictures and step by step details in a how to guide. He translated documents to Spanish and communicated them to the non-English speaking employees.

Later Cadmiel applied to work as Shaw Industries as a co-op and got the position. There he has learn how to weld, drive lift trucks, and work on his own machine designs. Currently he is working on a project that would save the company thousands of dollars a month. It involves fixing the issues of carpets being torn apart by shelves. Cadmiel is also helping with a clutch installations and safety measures for a work area.


Danica RobersDanica Roberts

Electrical Engineering Senior Receives Grant

November 2018

2018 NSF Travel Grant Recipient, Danica Roberts, is an Electrical Engineering Senior at Kennesaw State University - pursing minors in computer science and mathematics. In addition to her studies, she has been active in her campus community, serving in key leadership roles in organizations like Society of Women Engineers, Student Government Association, and Department of Housing and Residence Life.

Danica’s research interests currently lie heavily in connected and autonomous vehicular systems. Danica received a travel grant from the National Science Foundation to attend the 2018 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference in Taipei, Taiwan from December 5 to 7, 2018. This conference will provide her the opportunity to conduct investigative research on vehicular networks, as we all connect with some of the most influential researchers on vehicular networks.

Read more of her story here


Tyler GraggTyler Gragg

Mechatronics engineering student making glass-breaking soundwaves

October 2018

Tyler Gragg is a mechatronics engineering student who set out to make a handheld device to break glass, using sounds! He programmed all of it himself to automatically determine the resonant frequency and produce 130db of sound. Gragg designed and manufactured a 3D printed enclosure for all the electronics, which he designed and wired himself as well. Gragg also made all of the code, files, and diagrams.

An overview of his project can be seen on Wine Glass Shattering Audio Gun.

Wine glass shattering audio gunWine glass shattering audio gun
Wine glass shattering audio gun electrical Wine glass shattering audio gun custom circuit

Macey RoacheMacey Roache

Industrial Engineering student, engineering change in the Atlanta Hawks warehouse

September 2018

Macey Roache has been hired to work with the Atlanta Hawks as their Retail Warehouse Manager. As an IE student, Roache has actively engaged in providing designing and establishing process for the Hawks. Essentially, their warehouse had little to no known processes for receiving and distributing freight effectively. Roache has been tasked with taking a budget, analyzing that budget, and requesting materials to create the most efficient processes for the warehouse.

Additionally, Roache handily handles hiring of key staff members - to build a team that will be able to sustain the ever-growing process the warehouse will endure during the Hawks’ season. The warehouse has gone from an inventory amount of approximately 1 million to almost 4 million. Roache has also used this degree plan to provide solutions for an offsite storage - for both overage and seasonal inventory. He has collaborated with an outside company to house inventory until they need it. Space is an issue, as with most sports organizations.

Moreover, Roache was approved travel to another NBA organization in order to collect data from them, to bring back and implement throughout their new design process. Effectively creating and establishing partnerships across a larger spectrum of teams in the NBA. The visit was well received and they collected substantial data to help their process and thus drive sales.

Roache said, “KSU has been instrumental in establishing a solid educational foundation. My working experience has only gotten me so far. Without KSU I would NOT be able to handle the wonderful opportunity I’ve been given in totality. Go Owls!!! (And Hawks).”


Addie Thornton, civil engineering studentAddie Thornton

Civil Engineering student Awarded $5,000 Scholarship by New South Construction

August 2018

Addie Thornton is working toward her Civil Engineering degree with a minor in Construction Management and certificate in Land Surveying. Addie was chosen as one of four recipients for the $5,000 New South Foundation scholarship, based on her student organization involvement, volunteer service, academics, and passion to pursue a career in project management.

New South Construction has been in business for nearly 30 years and was started by Doug Davidson. Some of their biggest clients are Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company, The Atlanta Braves, Druid Hills Golf Club, Wesleyan School, Emory University, and General Mills. The New South Foundation makes it their goal to provide scholarships to undergraduate students who come from families in the construction industry or in some way have ties to the construction industry.

Addie attended the New South Construction Foundation scholarship reception on Wednesday, July 18th. The reception was held at New South’s warehouse located in Hapeville, Georgia. At the reception, she was able to meet with other scholarship recipients, discuss career goals, and received professional advice from the New South team.

Pictured from left to right: Doug Davidson (Chairman/CEO), Addie Thornton (Civil Engineering student), and Dan Smith (CFO/Executive Vice President)

Brackner Bueres-TorresBrayckner Bueres-Torres 

Mechanical engineering student and entrepreneur making waves in the Atlanta area

July 2018

Brayckner Bueres-Torres is our Feature Friday. He is a Mechanical Engineering student and a motivational speaker to high schools in the Atlanta area! He is the CEO of BBT brand, which provides service to help companies use social media to market and advertise their business. He hosts College Knowledge podcast on how to succeed in high school and in life. In addition, he is interning this summer at Helpfully LLC, located in Ponce City Market. Check him out at Brayckner.com

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