1969 – 1971
RPI's role in enabling my eventual P.E. Licenseby Gerald J. Haddock P.E.
I am grateful for the guidance and support given to me during my graduate studies at RPI. I arrived in Troy with a rather unfocused B.S. in physics from Notre Dame, since I had decided not to pursue graduate studies in physics and had taken 10 credit hours in the EE department in lieu of physics electives. Yet in my initial fall semester at RPI, I found myself in a trajectory leading towards a M.S.E.E., which was not the accredited degree required for as a P.E. licensing. After successfully completing the fall semester, I found myself stressed and decided to drop out of school to develop an alternate plan. This was just before the tragic killing of 4 college students at Kent State University and ensuing nationwide protests, so it was not uncommon for students, in protest, to drop out, take incompletes, or be given alternate concessions. I returned to RPI in the early summer of 1970 with a plan to take several fundamentals of engineering courses along with undergrads preparing for co-op semester and then resume upper level courses in the fall. This was approved by Prof. Joseph H. Smith who as I can best. recall was associate dean for undergraduate studies. I graduated in the spring of 1971 with an MEE in Electrical Engineering and began a 40+ year career in quality assurance and quality control, primarily in the manufacturing of medical diagnostic instruments, personal computer and servers, automotive subassemblies, and computer peripherals. My career in private industry progressed quickly into management responsibility so P.E. licensing was no longer my highest professional priority. Instead I earned 15 graduate credits in EE at Syracuse University, and 6 in management engineering at University of Bridgeport.I also became certified as a regulatory affairs professional because of my responsibilities within FDA regulated industry. Towards the late 1990’s I learned that the State of California intended to cease the licensing of several disciplines for budgetary reasons. (it has approximately 450 licensed quality engineers.) I passed the exam, and have maintained active status on my license even though I have been retired for almost 10 years. I feel that my undergraduate education was an excellent, well-rounded one, but the tools, guidance, and facilitation that I received at RPI were extremely valuable in my career as engineer and manager.