Student Feature: Rock Mendenhall

Rock Mendenhall is a Ph.D. student in the systems engineering department and a practicing systems engineer.

He received his master’s in systems engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and his bachelor’s in electrical and electronics engineering from The University of Akron.

How do you implement systems-thinking in your job and life?

I implement systems-thinking in my job and life, by looking at challenges holistically and understanding the value of multiple, varying perspectives that result in a better solution. 

The views of others are as important as examining the influences on a problem set or the elements of a system, and systems engineering embraces and implements these extremely important principles. 

I think if you examine the Wright Brothers, you will discover these principles are evident from performing a literature review of others associated with early flight, and then tying the individual parts and influences into an overarching system that made flight possible, that we now know as the airplane.

I really have been impressed by the diversity and varying experiences of the staff here at CSU.  I also value the balance of work and life that the program offers, and the willingness of the staff to always help you when you have a question. 

Everyone is extremely professional, top notch, and believes in higher learning.  If you are pursuing a doctoral degree, the wide range of backgrounds across the individual colleges within CSU, provide a solid foundation for incorporating systems-thinking into your research.

What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy volunteering, running, and biking in my free time.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was “Dare to Fly” by Martha McSally; an amazing read about persevering and standing up for what you believe in despite barriers. 

Who inspires you?

The professors here at CSU, and mentors I have had in my life, that emphasize that “learning never stops” continue to inspire me.

What’s a fun fact about you no one knows?

 I like to read as many books about history and leadership for leisure, as I do technical literature.