Engineering Alumni Spotlight
- Author: Sarah Redding
- Author: Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
Alan Black is an electrical engineering alumnus from Dawson Springs, KY. After graduating from WKU in 2017, Black took an electrical engineering job at Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E).
Black’s journey to this point in his career as an electrical engineer has followed a relatively linear path. He reports that he was a “techy” kid with an interest in math that led him to engineering. He says that he chose engineering specifically because “it sounded the coolest.”
Black chose to attend WKU for several reasons, primarily because he received a scholarship, liked the atmosphere of urbanity blended with small-town friendliness he found in Bowling Green, and liked the unique features of WKU’s engineering program. Black reports that the program seemed more hands-on, professors were personable and well-liked, and the program was smaller and younger than other universities he visited. Black says these features made him feel like students’ perspectives and needs were well considered and eased his transition from his small home town.
While enrolled at WKU, Black completed two internships in Elizabethtown, KY with Kentucky Utilities (KU), which is owned by the company he currently works for. During these internships, Black built a professional network while gaining experience, and he applied for jobs with LG&E in 2017. He reports that he had five or six interviews with LG&E, including one for his current position as an electrical engineer. He was offered the job in April 2017, accepted the position, and began work a week later.
Black says that part of what drew him to KU and LG&E was KU’s presence in his small home town. He says that KU was well liked in the community and found the same values reflected in his internships.
Black works as an electrical engineer for LG&E distribution and planning involves systems planning and analysis for long-term projects. He reports that he is satisfied with his current role, but has plans for continued professional development. He is currently studying to get PE certification. Black’s long-term goals include continuing to challenge himself and seizing opportunities as they arise. He is doing this by learning more about other divisions within LG&E (generation and transmission), learning more about coding, and exploring a long-term interest in micro-processing.
Black advises all engineers to challenge themselves, persevere, and “just have fun with it.” He says that the people you work with and the attitude you have about your work make all the difference.
LG & E and KU are members of WKU's Engineering Industrial Partnership. Black attended Industrial Partnership events as a student and now attends them as a industry professional. For more information on the Engineering Industrial Partnership, please visit the SEAS Website.