In his final semester at Ferris State University that culminated with earning a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Engineering Technology, Brian Link persevered through a challenging schedule, and more significantly, a painful family loss.
A native of Baltimore, Md., Link juggled a 16- to 17-credit-hour semester with a 15- to 20-hour weekly lab assistant schedule, along with being the leader of the Hybrid SAE team. He also had to overcome the sudden death in February of his younger brother, who was a 3rd class cadet in the Coast Guard Academy.
“My parents, friends and faculty all have helped support me during my experiences at Ferris,” Link says. “Kelly Hicks, the Automotive department’s secretary, has especially helped me throughout my entire career at Ferris.”
It has not been easy, and College of Engineering Technology faculty and staff say Link’s achievements are a testament to his dedication and second-to-none work ethic.
“He is without a doubt our best graduate this year,” says William Wagner, assistant professor of Automotive Engineering Technology. “It’s well-known here that I always choose the best student to teach these labs for me.
“I chose Brian because of his skills and his attitude,” Wagner adds. “He does labs completely on his own, evaluates them, scores them and gets the paperwork to me. He has just done a splendid job for me.”
Link, a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers who transferred to Ferris with an associate degree in Automotive Technology from the Community College of Baltimore, sees his lab work as a component of his Ferris education that will be the foundation for his future.
“To me, graduating from Ferris gave me a balance of classroom and hands-on experience that has given me a more well-rounded skill set,” Link says. The diverse Automotive Engineering program has exposed me to many facets of the industry, including quality engineering, product development, testing and manufacturing.”
The recipient of the Automotive Engineering Outstanding Student of the Year Award, Link speaks highly of his Ferris education.
“I was able to take many courses that have been practical, will benefit me professionally and prepare me for a graduate program,” he explains. “I also have been able to apply the knowledge and principles learned in the classroom into real-world applications such as the formula hybrid car and other research projects.
“My time spent as a lab assistant has given me a year’s worth of hands-on dynamometer and flow bench testing that will benefit my career area,” he adds.
Link is optimistic about his future armed with a degree that is largely built on the value of a career-oriented, hands-on Ferris education.
“Ferris has definitely given me the opportunity to put myself in a good position to start a great career,” Link concludes. “The hands-on methodology is one thing that really sets this program apart from others. Reading about theory in textbooks is one thing, but being able to apply what you learned in the real world is an entirely different situation. Ferris has allowed me to do just that.”