Bringing Navy experience to the engineering field

August 24, 2020

The University of Michigan-Dearborn Veteran Scholarship supports Navy veteran and CECS student Kathryn Moore as she prepares for her career in Electrical Engineering.

College of Engineering and Computer Science student Kathryn Moore didn’t take the conventional path to UM-Dearborn. Initially enrolling in 2007, she realized she wasn’t ready for college yet and enlisted in the Navy. After she was discharged, she moved back to Michigan and decided to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. “UM-Dearborn was the obvious choice since it was friendly to non-traditional students and I was familiar with the campus,” she says.

She already had some practical experience in her field, which helped her decide on her major. “While I served, I was a Navy Nuclear Electrician and it was there I discovered how much I enjoyed the field and the theory behind what I was doing,” she says. “The more I worked in my job, the more interested I became in it.”

Moore has continued gaining skills in her field and is grateful for the guidance she has received from faculty, who have adapted to necessary changes in instruction and remained helpful through the current challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. One such example is Electrical and Computer Engineering Lecturer Michael Putty, who she says “has been instrumental in helping with my senior design project.”

“He is always available to answer questions, being especially flexible with all of us being remote. He once sat for almost an hour and a half through a video call helping me debug my code looking for an error that we didn't understand. No question is too small and he always makes sure we have the tools we need to solve whatever issue we may be having,” she says.

She has found the same eagerness to help students succeed and gain experience from other aspects of the campus. In addition to serving as Treasurer of Student Veterans Association, she has also obtained an engineering co-op.

Another source of support is the University of Michigan-Dearborn Veteran Scholarship, which she says has been “a huge help” as she pursues her degree. “I have three kids, and every little bit helps. This scholarship helped offset bills so I could pay for childcare and gas so I could continue my education.”

Moore is now setting her sights on her future engineering career. “I am currently working at a co-op at DTE Fermi II Nuclear Plant and it's my hope to get a job there once I graduate,” she says. “My job currently involves analyzing the setpoint calculations used in plant processes to ensure accuracy and to incorporate any needed changes. I enjoy analytical work like that while also having the ability to walk out to the plant and see the effects my changes make.”

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