NASA Intern, MWC Champ
Rodney Clayton's Story
One of the most successful scholar-athletes in recent Monmouth College history, Clayton has continued his success in the world of engineering.
“I am the metallurgist at Boardwalk Pipelines, so that means that all questions on metallurgy or projects involving metallurgy are directed to me,” said Clayton of his experiences at the Houston-based company. Clayton maintains all of Boardwalk’s technical specifications for purchasing pipe and fittings, reviews documentation of materials being purchased and audits pipe and steel mills. He also works on root cause analyses on the rare occasions when a material fails and works in the Codes & Standards Department to help the company comply with federal regulations. “That has exposed me to a very interesting side of the natural gas industry,” he said.
“I knew I wanted to go into engineering and science, but I also wanted to play golf for all four years. Dr. (Chris) Fasano helped me see that Monmouth would be a great place to receive a quality education that would lead to a career in engineering but still allow me to pursue collegiate athletics.”
At MUS&T, Clayton received a graduate research assistantship to work on a laser additive manufacturing (LAM) project funded by NASA. “LAM is a relatively new manufacturing technology,” he explained. “It uses a laser and powder metal to ‘print’ almost any 3-D part imaginable. Besides my assistantship, I took numerous courses in metallurgy, which expanded my knowledge in that area.” Clayton also recalled a memorable project at Monmouth. “Henry Schmidt and I developed a hybrid remote control vehicle, and we had the opportunity to present our research at a conference in Vancouver,” he said.
Tying it all together
Clayton believes the education he received at Monmouth helped him to be a better critical thinker and easily adapt to different situations, and he appreciates the different topics he was exposed to at Monmouth. “I have quickly realized that no matter how much ‘technical education’ I have, there will always be something that I have not experienced. Being able to think critically and adapt in those situations is invaluable.”