Frank Dancer ‘05
Rockwell Collins -
NGAP Systems Engineer
As a high school student applying for college, LeTourneau University interested me
because of its reputation for giving students hands-on engineering experience. I also heard
that professors were dedicated, not only to teaching, but also to their students.
Once I enrolled, I realized what I heard was true.
The quality education I got at LETU paved the way for my career as a systems engineer at
in Cedar Rapids,
I learned so much as an LETU student! During my sophomore year, I spent a semester
working as a co-op for a microprocessor company. That same year, I got involved in the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics
(IEEE) organization and helped as a lab assistant in the digital electronics and
circuits I classes.
As a junior, I was involved in the "Boeing Helicopter Stabilizer Platform" senior design
project. My partner and I received 2nd place in the 2003 International ASME Design Contest in
Washington D.C. Then, during my last summer at LETU, I worked on the
and eventually became the senior design project manager. The projects I worked
on, and the activities I was involved in while at LeTourneau, definitely prepared me for my career.
As graduation approached, the Career Services Department helped me develop my résumé and
investigate different job openings. I eventually received several job offers and accepted a
position as a systems engineer for Rockwell Collins.
My career is exciting because I am always learning about new things within the avionics and
the aviation industries. My first project on the job helped me understand the hundreds of
input and output signals that drive the information pilots see on their cockpit displays.
Eventually, I was promoted to project engineer, only eight months after being hired.
In this new role, I use the project management and the senior design skills I learned during
my senior year at LETU.
I have seen first hand that companies, especially in the avionics industry, have high demand
for new graduates in electrical and computer science engineering. Because fewer engineers are
applying for jobs, the starting salaries are large, and there are lots of open
jobs. Internship and co-op openings are increasing, so there is a greater chance of getting
work experience before graduation. Some companies even help pay toward your last semester.
Take advantage of these opportunities!
Consider a career in electrical or computer engineering!