NATCHITOCHES – Beta Engineering, a Crest Industries company in Pineville, announced its support for scholarships for engineering technology degree programs at Northwestern State University. For the next three years, Beta Engineering will provide a $1,000 scholarship to a Pineville High School graduate to attend Northwestern State as a freshman in the engineering technology program. Beta Engineering will provide another $1,000 for the next three years to an NSU student already enrolled in the program.
Beta’s $1,000 award is one of 51 scholarships facilitated by the Central Louisiana Manufacturing Manager’s Council and the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance for students in 10 central Louisiana parishes.
Chris Wilson, a 2005 graduate of Northwestern State, is a substation design manager for Beta, where he leads a department of designers through the technical design of high-voltage (HV) substations. Wilson, who earned a degree in industrial engineering technology, said he was well-prepared to join the company after graduation when Beta was looking for individuals qualified to work as liaisons between the engineers and the draftsmen.
“My degree from NSU also helped because I took a lot of management classes where we learned to work with people and develop a plan,” Wilson said. He now hires NSU graduates almost exclusively “because they make very adaptable employees.”
Beta Engineering provides engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for high voltage substations and transmission lines. Since 1975, Beta Engineering has brought talent and experience to the design and construction of high voltage power systems across the United States. Beta’s staff includes electrical engineers, civil engineers, project managers and substation designers.
Wilson said that there was good communication between students and his ET professors at Northwestern State.
“The professors connected with the students and challenged them. They expected a lot. They classes were academically challenging and they push students to do their best inside and outside the classroom,” Wilson said. “It’s a broad curriculum that touches on many things. When you leave NSU and are asked to do something, you should be familiar with it.”
Northwestern State’s Department of Engineering Technology offers students two tracks – electronics engineering technology (EET) and industrial engineering technology (IET) -- to becoming an engineering technologist. Students with an interest in solving technical problems, working with technology professionals and managing complex industrial equipment and facilities are suited for the field, according to program coordinator Bobby Nowlin. With the growth of job openings in manufacturing and the oil and gas industries, Northwestern State students who complete their degrees in engineering technology are having no trouble finding employment in the region, Nowlin said. Nearly 100 percent of Northwestern State University students who complete their degrees in engineering technology already have a job when they collect their diplomas.
“A lot of people at Beta are local and want to stay instate. In our economy today, that’s pretty important,” Wilson said.
For more information on Beta Engineering, visit betaengineering.com. For more information on scholarships opportunities through the engineering technology degree program at NSU, visit northwesternalumni.com. For information on Northwestern State’s ET degree programs visit engrtech.nsula.edu.