While an MTSU student-athlete, Ed Simpson was a consummate team player. The 6-foot-2 guard was a contributor both as a starter and coming off the bench for the Blue Raider men’s basketball team, which won a record-tying 100 games during his four seasons.
The 22-year-old Ocean Springs, Mississippi, native, one of MTSU’s 2,641 spring 2018 graduates, was a team man in his mechatronics engineering major, too.
This spring, he was project manager for a four-member team making a robotic pancake-making machine, one of five such contraptions producing plenty of pancakes for visitors attending the recent Department of Engineering Technology Open House featuring senior projects.
“I did a lot of documentation, making sure we stayed on track,” Simpson said of his role in the group that included fellow seniors Chance Ferguson, Eli Little and Jeremy Hood. “We would meet every two weeks to make sure everything was running smoothly.”
Simpson also did a lot of mathematics as his group planned, designed and built the pancake-maker, which had to dispense batter, flip a pancake and place it on a plate.
The open house, where the aroma of cooked pancakes and accompanying syrup filled the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall, ran smoothly until the power went out. Apparently there were too many cooks — and pancake-makers — using too much electricity on one end of the 107-year-old facility, which was MTSU’s first dining hall when it opened in 1911.
Simpson, whose strong academic background could’ve led him to an Ivy League school, entered MTSU majoring in mechanical engineering technology. By his sophomore year, and at the suggestion of an adviser, he switched to the fast-growing mechatronics program.
The Conference USA All-Academic team member and True Blue President’s Award recipient said he has landed a systems engineering position with aviation, defense, space and security giant Boeing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and will begin work there in mid- to late June.
For more on MTSU’s Mechatronics Engineering Program and the Department of Engineering Technology, call 615-898-2776.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)