David Cantrell

David Cantrell

Student, Class of 2018
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

I actually chose the Oregon Institute of Technology for the Renewable Energy Engineering degree program. I completed a freshman year at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, but did not connect with a degree program. 5 years later, I heard about Oregon Tech, then immediately moved to Klamath Falls.

What do you like most about your program?

I like all of the hands on experience and the in-depth physics and mathematics covering renewable energy concepts I have received during my 4 years at OIT. Students in the REE program have a large amount of lab work to complete, and sometimes 6 projects per term. I have also been fortunate to find like-minded students within my program to do homework with and hangout with during school.

What are you passionate about changing within this particular field and why?

I want to bring renewable energy to the consumer, and to the commercial user. There is so much free energy just lying around, waiting to be extracted for our uses. We need to quit thinking of solely large windmill farms and huge solar arrays when we think of renewable energy. Anyone can implement sustainable energy practices; we just need to be informed how to do it.

What would be your dream job?

Owning my own Renewable Energy company that helps people and business implement sustainable energy technologies.

What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

I loved REE 243 and REE 253. These cover motors and generators, and the introduction of power transmission. This is the bread and butter of renewable energy. Then actual REE applications like Batteries, Wind Power, Geothermal Power, Electronics, Thermodynamics, Fluids, etc... are all fascinating.

Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

We might not be in Portland, OR, but that is a good thing. We have less big city distractions, and have more time to get school work done. Instead of clubbing, we can do projects. We are also in a great test site for solar, geothermal, and wind energy resources. This is an ideal place to seclude yourself and learn renewable energy engineering.

Are you involved on campus? If so, how?

I was recently elected the President of my school club, the Association of Energy Engineers. We were formerly the Renewable Energy Engineering Club, but we decided to change our name to become more inclusive and multidisciplinary. We complete student projects every term, and go on school field trips to power plants and networking events.

Have you participated in any internships or externships during your time at Oregon Tech? Did you gain valuable experience from them?

I have not participated in any internships so far while at Oregon Tech. However, I have gone to a large networking event of professionals in Portland called the Oregon Solar Energy Conference, and have visited Sequential Biofuels, the largest biodiesel manufacturing plant in Oregon. I have been to the Shasta Hydro Electric Dam twice, and have had numerous tours of the on campus geothermal plant and 2 MW solar array. All of these have taught me valuable real world experience.

Is there anything more that you would like to share with future students about campus, what you wish you knew before attending Oregon Tech or anything else?

  1. Involve yourself with independent research while at OIT.
  2. Join some type of school organization or school club.
  3. Find friends to do study with
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