Alumni Spotlight: Richard Currin

What led you to NC State?

I wanted to become an engineer and I have an agricultural background. Several of my best friends were going and that was a factor. I have some family members that are alumni.

Why did you choose to study biological and agricultural engineering?

I started working with Dr. William H. Johnson at the Oxford Tobacco Research Station during the summers and fell in love with agricultural engineering

Where has your career path taken you?

I started out as an engineering research technician in BAE. After 8 years in that role I had an opportunity to move to University Field Labs as a facilities agricultural engineer. After 21 years in that role my job was eliminated. I was very fortunate and almost immediately started work in N.C. State Facilities Division as a facilities mechanical engineer. I am currently serving as interim power systems engineer for the Utilities and Engineering in Facilities but will return to soon to my role as an engineer in Building Maintenance and Operations..

How did your experience at NC State help prepare you for your career?

For most of my career I have felt that my job perfectly matched my career. Even today I rely on my undergraduate courses very often. I worked in the BAE department all the way through school which gave me tremendous experience. I had great mentors in BAE and what they taught me complimented and expanded on what I learned in class and let me put it to use while it was still fresh.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Correcting problems and making things better. After 34 years it is very satisfying to see some of my projects still in use at various university sites. I enjoy meeting and interacting with students. I enjoy teaching classes to my co-workers and giving guest lectures and presentations.

Why has it been important to you to stay connected to the college?

It builds on the sense of pride from being an NC State alum. I think you can get fresh ideas and perspectives by staying connected.

What advice would you give a student just starting out in CALS?

Be proud of our agricultural heritage. At the same time if an opportunity arises that may be outside the agricultural realm don’t be afraid to go for it. Find mentors and be a mentor to others. We are all better when we work together.