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Celebrating the Engineering Technology Inaugural Class

Engineering Technology - Student

The Fujio Cho Department of Engineering Technology in the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering was established in the Fall of 2021 through a 2 + 2 partnership with the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. It offers two distinct degrees: Computer Engineering Technology and Lean Systems Engineering Technology. Upon completing their Associate of Applied Science degree in engineering technology at the community college, students can pursue the bachelor’s degree in the corresponding engineering technology pathway at the Pigman College of Engineering. The programs are on track to graduate the first cohorts in May 2025.  

As the junior year ends and summer begins, we are excited to celebrate the first cohort of Engineering Technology students as they start their co-op and research opportunities. We applaud the dedication of these students as they pave the way for future students in engineering technology. Here, we highlight their journey: 

Alex Blevins

Alex is a junior Computer Engineering Technology student conducting undergraduate research on energy efficiency, specifically focusing on creating an efficient hybrid of solar and hydrogen energy. He presented his work nationally and was one of 12 UK students chosen to present at Posters at the Capitol. 

Courtney Ward

professional headshot of Courtney Ward

Courtney is a junior Computer Engineering Technology student who has spent the last year interning with Toyota. She has also worked with the academic dean at BCTC to develop independent studies and projects for CS students. She has had the opportunity to travel to South Africa to learn more about the engineering technology programs offered there. Courtney is currently teaching summer classes at Lexington’s own Newton’s Attic. 

Ian Bouma

Ian is a senior Lean Systems Engineering Technology student who finished a year-long co-op at Toyota Powertrain. He is also the co-president and founder of the Engineering Technology Club and the president of the Automotive Industry Club at UK. Ian is working as a manufacturing engineering intern at Boston Whaler in Edgewater, Florida, for the summer. 

Sierra Metz

professional headshot of Sierra Metz

Sierra Metz is a senior Lean Systems Engineering Technology student. Before deciding to go to college, she began working at Chick-fil-A in Lexington, where she learned about the Engineering Technology program. The restaurant operator started working with the UK to provide a scholarship specifically for the ET program, and Sierra became the first Engineering Technology Chick-fil-A scholar. She has continued to work at Chick-fil-A while in school. This summer, she is an Operational Excellence intern at Beam Suntory. 

Nolan Harvey

professional headshot of Nolan Harvey

Nolan Harvey is a senior Computer Engineering Technology student. During the summer of 2023, Nolan took advantage of a unique opportunity to study abroad in South Africa, where he developed intercultural communication and problem-solving skills. Upon returning, Nolan participated in his first co-op at Toyota in DIME (Digital Intelligent Manufacturing Engineering). This summer, he will continue with Toyota in a second co-op position and be assigned to the Powertrain Unit Data Systems. Nolan resides in Lawrenceburg, KY, with his wife, Shea, and three of his six children. He is a 1996 Anderson County High School graduate and participated in the 1995 Kentucky Governor’s Scholar program. 

Helena Shobole

professional headshot of Helena Shobole

Helena is a senior Computer Engineering Technology student. At 17, she earned an associate degree from Bluegrass Community College while attending Henry Clay High School. Since then, Helena has completed a co-op at Toyota in the summer of 2023 in the company’s DIME division. She is preparing to pursue her second consecutive co-op with Toyota this summer, working at the new battery plant in North Carolina. 

Crystal Wicks

professional headshot of Crystal Wicks

Crystal is a senior Computer Engineering Technology student. While at BCTC, she participated in a project funded by a NASA-KY grant within the Computer and Information Technologies department. Additionally, she taught CIT courses and was recognized as her department’s teacher of the year. Crystal completed a co-op with Toyota during the summer of 2023 in their Assembly PE department and is preparing to start a second rotation in the DIME division. 

For more information about the Fujio Cho Department of Engineering Technology, please visit our website at https://www.engr.uky.edu/research-faculty/departments/engineering-technology or contact Kelsey.Carew@uky.edu.