Skill Sets and Aspirations: Alex Thompson

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Thompson. That’s me in the featured image above (not the deer, the guy holding the deer) in Wisconsin last year. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but mostly grew up in Colorado Springs.

I am currently a Mechanical Engineering student approaching the end of my concurrent BS/MS track. I will graduate with both degrees in May! That’s both exciting and a little scary. Anyway, here is a brief synopses of my skill set and personal aspirations. Enjoy!

Skill Sets:

Well, I like to think I am good at all of the common skills that most Mechanical Engineers have. I can sketch pretty well, and are improving that skill every day thanks to this class. I can design and assemble virtual prototypes in Solidworks. Some days I can code pretty cool things using MatLab, Simulink, and Simscape. I also use Excel and Powerpoint on a daily basis at my work.

I’m pretty handy with the basic tools like a power drill, ban-saw, etc. but it has been awhile since I have used a mill or lathe. I used to know how to use the laser cutters too, but it’s been a while since I’ve used the one in the ITLL too. Perhaps my most interesting skill is soldering more than just a common circuit board. Don’t get me wrong, I can solder a circuit pretty well. But I also used to be the Prototype Engineer for a company where I soldered all of our products (which were basically copper sheets with mesh lining) together. It was more of an art than a science. I also got pretty good at photography and Photoshop last year. Finally, I like to think I am a perfectionist (thus fairly patient). This means I pay great attention to detail and often spend more time than necessary to make sure something turns out just the way I envision it.


As stated above, I am about to graduate with my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with emphasis in Renewable and Sustainable Energy. In the near future, I plan on using those degrees at an Architectural Engineering firm or some car manufacturer or something where I can possibly try to make a difference. I do not want to see the globe change to the point where Boulder becomes as arid as Phoenix, Arizona. If I can work somewhere like that, I believe I would make my parent truly proud. And I could make a good sum of money doing it.

However, I also want to enjoy my job. Whether that’s in industry or not, I want to be happy to go to work. I have been extremely lucky at all of my jobs throughout college where I am never bummed that I have to work. Throughout college I have been working my way up the ladder at the University of Colorado Club Sports Department and the Athletic Department. As long as I wasn’t forced to work during a Green Bay Packers game, I always looked forward to working. It helps that it was a break from engineering, but it has still been a huge leadership and management opportunity which has helped me grow as a person. I need to continue to love my job. Thus, I do not see myself staying in industry all my life. I see myself retiring from industry and becoming a high school or college teacher of physics or calculus. I know it doesn’t pay well, but I think that is what I would truly love to do.

That is, unless I get another job in the world of athletics. There are a few positions I would love to hold. First, I would love to be a part of CU Hockey when they go NCAA Division 1. I do not think I would have the skill to coach at such a level, but I would absolutely love to assistant coach, manage, or direct such a team. Or I would like to be a part of the team that develops Pac-12 hockey and brings NCAA hockey back to the likes of college basketball in terms of television time. I have a vision of “Hockey Night on Campus” airing on ESPN and ESPN 2 Friday and Saturday nights starring the classic Wisconsin Badgers vs Minnesota Golden Gophers and the rising rivalries like Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils. And of course, I would die to be a leading member of the Green Bay Packers and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown. But for now, I am applying all over to put my Mechanical Engineering degree to good use.

Of course I have a lot of aspirations outside of my career as well, such as potentially retiring on a lake in the North Woods of Wisconsin with my beautiful family so I can hunt and fish all week (and turn the lake into a skating rink in the winter), then go to Green Bay on Sundays. Anyway, I think this is enough information for those of you reading this blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed my little story here. Good luck with your projects and hope you have a great day!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Shohei Hara
    March 1, 2017 9:01 pm

    That’s great that you know how to code using those languages. I’m not sure what language Arduino uses, but I might need to ask for your help if my project comes to that. Photography and Photoshop are always good skills to have. Since our projects will be judged based on their presentation, it’ll be crucial to have great photos of the progress and final product.
    It’s also great to see you have many aspirations outside of engineering. Creativity is thought to come out of applying a new perspective to old ideas. By having passions outside of your primary discipline, it can help you become more creative in indirect ways. It seems like you know what you’re passionate about and have a good start if you decide to pursue those passions.


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