Friday, April 07, 2017
Samuel Cole, of Hopkins, South Carolina, is an upcoming graduate majoring in nuclear engineering. He was inspired to attend SC State University after completing a summer nuclear engineering internship while attending high school.
Despite his interest in working in the nuclear industry, Cole was still uncertain of what his ultimate goal would be when he first stepped foot onto SC State’s campus.
Cole said, “SC State helped me find myself, as I didn’t know where my niche was.”
“The staff stood by their promises to help me find out who I desired to be, and I respect and appreciate them for doing so,” he continued.
He has successfully completed several internships including, working as a project engineer for NASA. During the internship, he worked independently to develop and revise procedures, as well as standards associated with the transport of radiation sources on rovers during space exploration missions.
During his most recent internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, he gained valuable experience by performing power output testing verifications for the onsite power plant, analyzing energy data and proposing new ideas for power plant design. Additionally, the research Cole helped to conduct at NASA Kennedy Space Center, in Titusville, Florida, is set to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Cole also worked as a coding intern for innovative drone company, FLYPRO, in Shenzhen, China, where he was able to attain experience in coding, while working on drones. He gained great cultural experience as well, through collaborating with FLYPRO engineers to solve problems in the global engineering industry.
In addition, Cole has worked on ship and submarine projects with the U.S. Navy.
Among his vast accomplishments, Cole has conducted research at the University of Wisconsin for start-up nuclear engineering company, ThorCon Power. Cole analyzed and developed codes, producing a reactor system for the company in order to better serve Indonesia’s power supply needs.
He believes that internships are essential for success and that those who intern should leave a good impression on their employers since they not only represent themselves, but SC State University as well.
Cole also notes that it is important for students to network with as many people as possible, even if they do not work in the students’ desired field.
A devoted leader on and off campus, Cole is the chapter senator of Omega Psi Phi Inc., contributing through community service, organizing scholarships for members of the chapter and helping to provide job opportunities for members in need of assistance.
He is also a member of the American Nuclear Society, which offers professional development for its members, and allows the sharing of knowledge related to technological advances within the nuclear industry.
As a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Cole is able to positively impact the community and learn with fellow engineering students and professionals.
The powerhouse student has received several awards including the Robert Maher Nuclear Citizens award, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund scholarship and Ronald E. McNair International Omega of the Year. He was also named a 2015 White House HBCU All-Star.
Cole aspires to be a research scientist in conjunction with working for a nuclear company. After graduation, he will attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. He also plans to obtain a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering.