Shippensburg University helps Ford ‘go further’

First with NASA and now Ford Labs, Shippensburg University engineering students are making a name for themselves in big ways.

Ryan Kennel, office director at Ford Labs in Dearborn Michigan hired Chris Boyer '18 from a school he had “never heard of." He immediately became interested in Shippensburg University and the program that produced such an advance software engineer.

“It's pretty cool to see someone out of college have such a mature approach to software development," said Kennel.

After interviewing Boyer, Kennel reached out to Ship's software engineering program and was impressed by its pragmatic approach to engineering. It's that approach that has made Boyer a standout as a new employee.

At Ford Labs, Boyer is builds software used to connect dealership data. Boyer credits the experiences Ship offered him in and out of the classroom for preparing him to join the team at Ford Labs.

In class exposure to extreme programing, hands-on opportunities and an emphasis on collaboration primed Boyer to thrive at Ford. Out of the classroom at Ship he competed in on campus programing competitions, hackathons and even entered a gaming competition with classmates that took him to a national conference.

“No one is doubting what I can do here, because I have skills they didn't expect a new college graduate to have," said Boyer.

In less than six months Boyer is fully integrated into the creative culture at Ford Labs.

Ping-Pong tables, gaming systems and puzzles help engineers take breaks that lead to a breakthroughs, and fosters team building. On Fridays, it's “power up time" at the lab, where employees challenge themselves to learn something new.

“Ship allowed me to get a head start and hit the ground running. What I learned at Ship is what the industry is looking for."

Ship launched its first engineering program, computer engineering, in 2011 and now offers software, electrical, mechanical and civil engineering were added. Following the rapid growth and success of the programs on September 4, 2018, Ship announced its Computer Science and Engineer Department is now the Shippensburg University School of Engineering.


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