As soon as mechanical engineering graduate Patrick Hogan had the chance to advise students as part of the Interdisciplinary Capstone program, he took it.
While a student, Hogan and his team developed a motorized optical device to track objects moving up to 1,000 feet per second for Raytheon Technologies. The team combined custom and off-the-shelf components to create a device including high-speed video equipment and a motor-controlled structure for scanning.
After graduating in 2022, Hogan landed a job as a mechanical engineer at Parker Meggitt, a longtime supporter of the capstone program. Parker Meggitt, an international company specializing in aerospace and defense engineering, is one of many sponsors to have hired capstone students right out of graduation. Now, Hogan is paying it back to the program that prepared him for a career in engineering.
Tell us about your capstone project during your University of Arizona education.
My project was to develop and build a close range, high-speed video tracking system for Raytheon. Senior capstone was both very rewarding and challenging. It was the most difficult and time-consuming class of my senior year. I learned so much about project management, proposal writing, system/functional requirements and design for manufacturability. I wish I had the chance to do it again, but I think everyone says that. As far as classes, it was the single biggest contributor to my current success as a semi-well-rounded engineer.
When and why did you choose to become involved with Design Day as a sponsor with Parker Meggitt?
As soon as Design Day was complete after my senior year, I knew I would have some involvement in this in the future. It so happened that my new company had been doing capstone projects with students for years. I was given the opportunity to support the sponsor for Parker Meggitt’s project last year, and I jumped on it. After our project’s success last year, I volunteered and was chosen to lead the project this year.
Would you recommend the sponsor experience to other companies and alumni?
Definitely. It is a great way to stay connected with UA Engineering. Not to mention, it is a great way to meet future up and coming engineers. I would also say it is a great way to learn some things too, because the students are very innovative. I would like to add that getting to be a sponsor just a year after graduating was a great opportunity because I knew what it took to make the project successful and I felt I could provide unique support to the students. I believe it was also a huge selling point for our project that we had two young engineers who knew exactly what the students were going through.