We’ve written before about the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP)—the network of fluid power research laboratories, academic faculty, graduate and undergraduate students at seven universities—that is making a difference when it comes to preparing a better educated workforce for the fluid power industry. The CCEFP has created a 500 percent increase in the number of fluid power focused advanced degrees awarded in the United States, with almost half of its graduates going on to work in the fluid power industry.
Dorian Davis is one of the students engaged at one of the CCEFP schools—North Carolina A&T State University. When asked to provide a summary of her background and experiences in the CCEFP, this is what she said.
I received my Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and Purdue University, respectively. I have held several engineering and leadership positions with 3M Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation.
My tenure at Ford Motor Company provided me the opportunity to serve for six years as their Course Director for a seventh grade Creative Engineering class through the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP). The Creative Engineering class is a highly coveted and demanding experience that exposes underrepresented minorities in Metro Detroit to STEM and STEM careers while developing their analytical and teamwork skills. I also served on several panels as an STEM advocate, educating my peers and youths on how STEM education impacts everyday living. It was through these experiences where I was motivated to pursue a journey of becoming an expert in my field with the desire to discover innovative ways to develop technology that will play a pivotal role in improving the quality of human performance in education. Thus, after 15 years in industry, I made a personal decision to return to my undergraduate alma mater and pursue my PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering with Human Factors Engineering as my major area of specialization. Human Factors Engineering is the perfect field because anywhere there is a person interacting with a system, human factors engineering is relevant. I study how to apply various sciences (i.e. engineering, psychology, physiology and computer science) to design products, systems and environments that place the physical and cognitive characteristics and demands of the user at the center of the design.
My career interest is to develop new products, systems and environments that will improve human capabilities and limitations when interacting with educational technology. My ultimate goal is to expose and engage students in STEM careers by providing the education, leadership, courage and inspiration that is needed.
CCEFP has supported my career interests in providing me the opportunity to develop my research skills by applying human factors methods in various domains. In addition, it has provided me the opportunity to expose undergraduate students to general research practices and demonstrate how their engineering knowledge, specifically in human factors is transferable and applicable across disciplines.
When life becomes stressful, I find solace in attending a church service, doing urban ballroom dancing and interior decorating.
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