A person looks at an industrial robot.
BGSU senior Kevin Duke balances obtaining his engineering degree with a full-time role at a robotics company. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

BGSU senior launches robotics engineering career as a student, bolstering his academic and professional experience

Estimated Reading Time:  

Kevin Duke balances obtaining his degree with a full-time job as an automation technician

By Laren Kowalczyk ‘07

Bowling Green State University senior Kevin Duke is not one to wait for opportunities to present themselves. Instead, he’s more inclined to go out and create them.

Determined to expand his knowledge and hands-on experience in engineering and robotics, Duke visited several companies with his resume in hand to inquire about internships.

Empowered by his BGSU education and a go-getter attitude, Duke landed an internship at Robotic Technical Support Services, Inc., in Holland, Ohio, as the company’s first-ever intern.

“I told them I wanted to learn everything. I said, ‘Give me a task, and I’ll find a way to complete it.’ I gained so much valuable experience in electrical, mechanical and robotics engineering,” Duke said.

Following the internship in Summer 2022, Duke was hired full-time as an automation technician at RTSS while still pursuing his bachelor’s degree in technology, specializing in mechatronics engineering technology.

A person stands in a robotics lab at BGSU.
Kevin Duke credits his development as an engineer to BGSU and his job at a Toledo area robotics company. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

The BGSU mechatronics engineering technology program laid the foundation for the robotics engineering program (ROBO), which was developed to meet the rising demand for robotics engineers.

The new robotics program in the School of Engineering caters to the expanding field of advanced manufacturing and technological innovation, offering a unique blend of science and engineering application that employers demand.

As an undergraduate engineering student, Duke has collaborated with Dr. Mohammad Mayyas, an engineering professor and director of the BGSU Department of Engineering Technologies, on innovative projects, including integrating AI cameras with a Fanuc robot.

Duke said applying the foundational and hands-on knowledge he’s learned through classes at BGSU to his job has been pivotal to his development as an engineer. 

“BGSU has really cultivated my curiosity with how far we can take this technology," he said. “I’ve really grown into a well-versed student because I’m able to take concepts we’re learning about in class and implement them in my job. There is no better way to learn than by doing, and I’m able to constantly apply my knowledge to real-life situations.”

Duke will graduate from BGSU in August and move into a specialist engineer position at Robotic Technical Support Services.

Related Stories

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 04/23/2024 02:37PM