Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  14 / 40 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 14 / 40 Next Page
Page Background

time to get all the data in the real

world,” he said. “Designing an

engine requires using your best

engineering assessment within

your constraints. The senior

design project requires students to

think with a real-world mentality.”

“Cedar v i l l e’s a c ademi c

excellence stands out,” commented

Abraham Vivas ’12, an Electronic

Controls Engineer on the

Dodge Ram diesel engine. “The

classes, the rigorous projects, the

competition opportunities, and

the professors’ expectations match the levels

of more renowned universities and in some

ways, exceed them.”

Senior-level classes at Cedarville would

count as graduate courses at other schools,

Dewhurst contended. Dewhurst earned his

bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from

Cornell University. “When they go for their

master’s degree, it’s like a review,” he said.

“Former students tell us they feel very well

prepared for graduate school.”

Vivas was part of the Cummins recruiting

team that visited Cedarville last year. One of

the other scouts, who had never even heard

of Cedarville, was pleasantly shocked by the

vast opportunities students have to work

through normal engineering workplace


“I took a new course onmicrocontrollers

that was just being developed,” Vivas

continued. “I practiced skills that I’m using

at my job every day.”

Students grow in their engineering

confidence by trying, failing, assessing,

and improving, Dewhurst noted. “They see

things that don’t work,” he explained. “They

had to build a boat, and then they went back

and fixed it.”

Call it the Genesis 32 approach to

engineering education. “It’s like Jacob

wrestling with God,” Dewhurst continued.

“They have to wrestle with it till they get it;

that’s what we’re doing here. Wrestle with it

till you master it — that’s a whole other level

of ability. I think our senior design course

captures that.”

Last year’s Solar Boat team struggled with

engine problems during the competition at

Eastwood Lake in Dayton, Ohio. “The team

worked extremely hard last year, but the

motors failed,” Dewhurst said. “The boat

was incredible. We’re considering patenting

our solar panel design, but we didn’t quite

get there.

“We could have taken the boat from the

previous year and the competition wouldn’t

have come close. But it also wouldn’t have

been very educational.”

Kinsinger concurred. “Engineering

is more and more theoretical,” he said.

“Application is going out the window. It’s so

much easier designing on a computer than

actually building something and seeing if it

works or not. It’s a quantum leap difference.

“Employers keep saying they want

experience, teamwork, and hands-on, but

universities aren’t going that direction.

Except for Cedarville.”

Cummins offers challenging, meaningful

work right away to new hires and interns.

“We give them the support they need, but

at the same time, they’ve got a lot of work

to do,” Wenig said. “The Cedarville students

have been very successful.”

Transmitting the Knowledge

And they match their engineering

acumen with written and verbal skills that

would make any English professor proud.

“We force them to present,” Dewhurst said.

“Our [Solar Boat] teamhas won first place for

technical report many, many years. Several

years ago one of the other teams asked,

‘How come Cedarville is always winning

the report?’ One of the judges said, ‘There’s

nothing really wrong with your report, but

if you read the Cedarville report, it is just

so good.’”

All Cummins summer interns, regardless

of their school, give an end-of-summer

presentation. “It’s very easy to pick out the

Cedarville students,” said Wenig. “They

have strong presentation skills and are

very confident in their work without being

arrogant or overconfident. They

know how to lead meetings.

Cedarville grads have no problems

with presentations.”

Students are required to give

presentations in many of their

classes, Vivas remembered,

sometimes before students,

sometimes before faculty, and

sometimes to people who don’t

know the engineering field.

“Communication skills are

extremely necessary in today’s

workforce,” he said.

Coaching at the Core

Another factor that stands apart in

the Cedarville program is the way faculty

members engage with their students —

outside of class as much as in class. “At

state institutions, faculty are committed

to research; graduate students teach the

class,” Kinsinger said. “That’s not the case

at Cedarville. We do research, but our

primary motivation is teaching. That’s a real


Brown compared the experience of his

Cummins colleagues who attended other

schools. “Not many of them had their

professors’ home telephone numbers,” he

said. “We were expected to actually make

that phone call. But that’s the commitment

Cedarville professors make. That’s a large

part of our success.”

“Professors are genuinely interested in

the students’ learning and development,”

Vivas added. “It is not uncommon to

see professors staying later than usual or

being flexible with their schedules to help

students whose hours don’t match with

their office hours.”

What stands out the most about

Cedarville professors is that they are

interested in more than just academics, but

in the students’ development as a whole.

“Many of my professors gave me advice on

internships, career-related decisions, life

decisions, and spiritual matters,” said Vivas,

“and for that I am truly grateful.”


is Managing Editor of




Abraham Vivas ‘12 and Joshua Brown ‘11 are two of 38 Cedarville graduates now

working at Cummins.



Cedarville Magazine