Philip Sowers garnered the 2019 ODU Civil Engineering Technology Faculty AwardPhillip Sowers pays attention to detail. He likes it when things are systematic, logical, and cost effective. He found all of that studying Mechanical Design Technology at Blue Ridge Community College.  

“Everything Tied Together Nicely”

Wed Aug 7, 2019 at 11:26 AM

Philip Sowers garnered the 2019 ODU Civil Engineering Technology Faculty AwardPhillip Sowers pays attention to detail. He likes it when things are systematic, logical, and cost effective. He found all of that studying Mechanical Design Technology at Blue Ridge Community College. He graduated in 2017 and then transferred to Old Dominion University, recently completing a degree in Civil Engineering Technology with a concentration in structural engineering. 

“The Blue Ridge professors are excellent,” says Phillip. “They make time for you and get to know you as a person because of the small class sizes. They are passionate about their subjects.”

Phillip, who was homeschooled, had grown up around the construction industry. His parents own Clearview Home Construction, Inc. in Elkton. His grandfather was a NASA engineer. The homeschooling curriculum encouraged problem solving and self-sufficiency: two attributes that served him well in the mechanical design and engineering programs.

An added benefit of BRCC’s mechanical design degree is that the graduate is workforce ready. “I could have gone directly into the workforce, but I wanted to continue my schooling, so it’s great to have that flexibility,” Phillip notes.

Both Phillip and his mother, Sharon, commented on the seamless transfer to ODU because of the “amazing” articulation agreement between the two schools. Phillip moved to Norfolk for his initial year in the ODU program. He says this allowed him establish solid relationships with his professors there. He moved back to Elkton for his senior year and took online classes, which he viewed live. “I could ask questions and interact with the professors and the class,” he says. Phillip earned a 3.98 GPA and garnered the 2019 ODU Civil Engineering Technology Faculty Award.

His long-term career goals are to earn his Professional Engineering License and to work in commercial or bridge structural design for a company with growth potential. Phillip enjoys the challenge of bridge design, and while in Jonathan Brumfield’s Parametric Solid Modeling class at BRCC, he won the class competition to design a small 3D-printed bridge that could hold the most weight.

Phillip uses words like “thorough,” “knowledgeable,” and “hands on” to describe his instructors and the curriculum at BRCC.

“Everything tied together nicely to help me realize my goal of being a well-rounded engineer,” Phillip says.

Sowers patio model

Patio model by Sowers.