Research at Hendrix

Neil Kopper '08

Neil Kopper '08

Physics Major (Masters in Civil Engineering, Oregon State University, 2010)

Engineer Associate, Public Works, Austin, Texas

Current projects

I'm an engineer associate with the City of Austin and I primarily work on bicycle infrastructure design (bike lanes and urban trails). I am currently an Engineer in Training working towards a Professional Engineering license.

Undergraduate Research

Starting the summer after my freshman year and continuing until graduation, I worked with Dr. Bob Dunn using large ring laser gyroscopes to detect rotational components of seismic waves from earthquakes and hurricanes. My work included constructing and maintaining the ring lasers as well as collecting and analyzing data. I also gave a presentation at the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and traveled to Christchurch, New Zealand to collaborate with researchers at the University of Canterbury.

How Hendrix prepared me for success

The traditional path to a career as an engineer begins with an undergraduate degree in engineering, but my liberal arts education has been highly beneficial during both my graduate studies and my current work. At Hendrix I developed communication and problem solving skills along with a strong background in math and science. I was completely prepared for the technical aspects of my graduate studies. I highly value the unique perspective and skill set that I obtained from Hendrix; I use them every day as an engineer with the City of Austin.

Future plans

At the moment I'm doing exactly what I want to do. I have a job that I feel passionately about, matches my aptitudes, and most importantly – I enjoy.

My advice

Enjoy the cafeteria – you'll miss it when you're gone.