Working on the Rehau Montana ecosmart house has given me a great opportunity to not only learn more about engineering but also to interact with people I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn from if I wasn’t hired as a research assistant. I haven’t noticed my classes really linking up with what I have been working on, but I know when I get to complementary classes, this research opportunity will have given me a great introduction. This job also has opened my eyes to some of the job possibilities that are out there when I graduate. It is great to be learning about all these energy-saving systems because when I have my own house, I hope to apply what I have learned and discovered. I know that these alternative energy options will help save money, as well as protect our limited resources. They may be more costly upfront but, in the end, they pay dividends to the user.
Breeann Foran is a mechanical engineering student at Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont. She is expected to graduate in 2015.