Valpo University Alum receives highest undergrad engineering distinction in U.S.

2013-08-07T15:15:00Z Valpo University Alum receives highest undergrad engineering distinction in U.S.Contributed by Nicole Niemi | Valparaiso University nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | Valparaiso University alumnus Ben Macy ('13) has been named a Tau Beta Pi Laureate, the highest distinction for an undergraduate engineering student in the United States. The College of Engineering at Valparaiso University is now the only college in the country to have three Laureates named in the past four years.

"Having three Laureate award winners in the past four years validates the outstanding programs we have here in the College of Engineering," said Eric Johnson, Dean of the College of Engineering. "The faculty and staff share in these awards as they are dedicated to developing the whole student."

Macy, of Hudsonville, Mich., served as president of Valpo's chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

"The College of Engineering at Valpo does an excellent job of engaging students inside and outside of the classroom," Macy said. "The culture in the College, and at Valpo in general, places a high value on contributing to and being an engaged, active member of the Valpo community."

The engineering professors at Valpo played a vital role in Macy's development, equipping him not just with technical skills but also with leadership skills and a dedication to serving others. Macy said his professors taught him "engineering is about making safe, robust excellent products that make people's lives better."

Macy's experiences at Valpo led to valuable internships with Exelon, where he learned about the design and operations of nuclear power plants, and Gentex, where he worked as a production support engineer supervising a team of 15-20 operators.

"Gentex provided me with a lot of opportunities for growth dealing with soft skills, while Exelon was more about technical skills. At Valpo, I brought all of these things together," Macy said. "I think the combination of technical and soft skills is so valuable in today's world, and Valpo definitely promotes and provides excellent opportunities for students to be involved."

Macy received the Laureate distinction for his dedication to service, having performed nearly 330 hours of community service during his time at Valpo. Through his leadership role in Tau Beta Pi, Macy led his peers in volunteering efforts in the Valparaiso community, including raising funds for Habitat for Humanity.

"At the core of my ideology is the desire to use my gifts to make a better world and a better life for others," Macy said.

Macy was also president of the Student Senate and was involved with the Student Alumni Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

"Ben exemplifies the type of engineering student we want to develop in the College of Engineering — one who is not only technically competent but will also lead and serve society," Johnson said. "Through his leadership and service, Ben serves as a role model for all of our engineering students."

Macy graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and will pursue a Master of Science in Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research will focus on power and energy.

Tau Beta Pi selects up to five "best of the best" students from more than 325 United States engineering colleges. Macy has the distinction of being in a select group of 88 Laureates chosen since 1982. Macy will be honored with other 2013 national award winners on Nov. 2 at Tau Beta Pi's 108th annual Convention in Ames, Iowa.

To learn more about the College of Engineering at Valparaiso University, contact Nicole Niemi, director of media relations, at Nicole.Niemi@valpo.edu or 219.464.6010.

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