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The rocky road to smooth sailing
For many people, career paths are full of ups and downs and bumps in the road. But for Austin Moyer, BSME ’11, rough terrain proved to be just what he needed to land his dream job.
Moyer, a native of New Washington, Ohio, who graduated from ONU this spring with a degree in mechanical engineering, will move to Minnesota in early August to begin his new job with Polaris Industries, an automotive company that designs and sells vehicles such as snowmobiles, ATVs and motorcycles.
Moyer thanks his four years with the highly successful ONU Baja team for his new position at Polaris.
“Baja is the reason I got my job. Four years of design, teamwork and leadership are what Polaris wants to see from students,” he says. “If I didn’t do Baja, there is no way I would have ever been given this opportunity.”
The Baja SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition strives to stimulate real-world engineering design projects by challenging teams to build off-road vehicles that can withstand rough terrain or water.
“I love designing, but being able to fabricate a design and test it fascinated me,” Moyer says. “And, the self-satisfaction keeps you going, even when things go wrong.”
Moyer’s participation in ONU’s Baja SAE team began his freshman year, and it soon became an important part of his college life. By his second year on the team, Moyer found himself in charge of the suspension steering design – something that may never have happened at another school.
“At most schools, it’s not until the junior or senior year that students get to actually work on the Baja car,” he says.
During his four years on the team, Moyer seized the opportunities to show off his knowledge and skills at regional competitions. And because Polaris is a major sponsor of Baja, he began to recognize the familiar faces of the company’s employees.
Moyer took the time to talk to them, and he discovered the opportunities that Polaris offers young engineers through its Engineering Development Program (EDP). By training young engineers in four six-month rotations for the first two years of employment, EDP gives young graduates the chance to develop skills with engineering technologies and experience the process of vehicle development. This year, Moyer was one of the handful of recent graduates selected for the program.
After working on four vehicles and spending numerous hours in the shop during his college career, Moyer does not regret one moment of his time as a member of ONU’s Baja team.
“Getting involved in a student competition team is important; it’s what lead me to find Polaris and my new job,” Moyer said. “Incoming students should be active in organizations that they care about, because they allow you to grow as an individual and excel in your field.”