#PROFspective: Senior Chemical Engineering Major and Transfer Student Bob Patterson

Bob poses on the stairs by the Engineering building.

Today we speak to Bob Patterson, a senior Chemical Engineering major and transfer student from Drexel University. Bob commutes to campus from Philadelphia, PA. 

Bob poses outdoors by the Engineering Pond.

What is a typical Rowan day for you?

On a typical day for me at Rowan pre-COVID, I would spend a lot of time finding parking. Then, I would attend all my classes. In the Chemical Engineering department at Rowan, many classes are structured to emphasize group work, so many times after class you’ll find me with a group in a study room and working on homework, projects, and exam preparation at night.

Could you share with us one moment during your time at Rowan that made you feel inspired or confident that you’re in the right major for you?

It happens all the time! Every time that I’m in class and I learn new chemical engineering concepts, I am reminded that I’m doing something really cool that I love. Rowan affords me those moments daily, from professors and staff who have built something great here.

Transferring from Drexel University (top 40 nationally in Engineering), I can say that the program at Rowan is just as good. Here at Rowan, there are cutting-edge and ample undergraduate research opportunities with a real focus on undergrads. There are many industry partnerships, and the program here at Rowan College of Engineering has been established for a long time.

Every junior and senior chemical engineering class here at Rowan is just as good as what is offered at Drexel, and at less than half the price! Even out of state, my tuition is less than half I was paying at Drexel. If you’re looking for a great engineering education that compares to the expensive private schools, Rowan gives a comparable option at a fraction of the price. The facilities are new, they upgraded the existing building and built another brand-new engineering building a few years ago. Newness matters.

I feel like it won’t be long for Rowan to become a prestigious option as well, they are on the fast track with their curriculum and investments. Take it from someone who was 18, didn’t know any better, and accumulated student loans well over $100k. I’m 31 years old now, and how much debt you accumulate over your 4-year bachelor’s degree matters. Rowan affords you the opportunity to have your cake and eat it, too (great degree and less debt).

Bob sits outside Engineering Hall.

Could you tell us a little bit about your transition into Rowan as an incoming student?

A little nervous, but that’s ok! I’m very simple though, no-frills necessary for my transition. I just got a plan together, signed up for the courses I needed, and I’ll be graduating this summer!

What are your professional goals?

My professional goal is to really make a difference somewhere. A chemical engineering degree opens so many doors that I didn’t have while I took gap years and couldn’t work where I wanted. Eventually, I want to get my Ph.D. and have my own research lab. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of student debt, so I’ll go into the industry, get a high-paying job, cut down on that debt and who knows next from there! With the degree, my future is looking bright!

Bob sits outside Engineering Hall.

How has Rowan helped to support you with your professional goals?

Rowan Engineering has prepared me to go into whatever profession I want. I have learned so much about so many aspects of science, applied physics, cutting edge research, chemical processing, the list goes on. I’m so happy with the opportunity that was given to me here, and I am grateful for how the amazing education has prepared me for what’s ahead.

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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