Iowa City Press-Citizen: Engineering Students Graduate

Sunday, May 17, 2009

By Chris Rhatigan
Iowa City Press-Citizen

About 175 University of Iowa College of Engineering students graduated at a ceremony this afternoon at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Speakers at the graduation emphasized that although it’s a tough time to graduate because of the national economic recession, engineers are still well positioned for success.

“While the opportunities are fewer today than in the past, the good news is that engineers will always be in demand,” said Gregs Thomopulos, CEO and chairman of the board for Stanley Consultants Inc.

Thomopulos, the commencement’s keynote speaker, said he landed a position at Muscatine-based Stanley Consultants after graduating from the University of Kansas through persistence and moved up through the company.

He said engineers have had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the world.

Thomopulos noted water treatment as one of the greatest achievements of engineering, which has saved many lives.

“Your UI education has hopefully not only educated you in mind, but in morals,” he said.

Dean of the College of Engineering P. Barry Butler said engineers would play a vital role in the future.

“Now as engineers you’re equipped to make essential contributions to this nation,” he said. “I hope you’ll make these contributions … with a genuine commitment to human values.”

He added that UI graduates are “well-prepared” to meet the challenges of professional engineering.

Rosalind Smith gave the address for graduating seniors, recalling her journey as a freshman struggling through her first courses.

Smith became an excellent student and earned the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.
“While there were a lot of sleepless nights, there was never a dull moment,” she said.

Jesse Drtina, a graduating senior in biomedical engineering, said he’d spend this evening at home in Marion at a get-together with family and friends.

Drtina said he’ll start searching for a job, but the tough economy isn’t a big concern.

“I think there’s always going to be a demand for engineers,” he said.