This fall semester brought new professors along with new students to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, Brian Choules PHD, is one of the many new faculty. Dr. Choules is a Mechanical Engineer with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his masters and PHD from Purdue. However, Dr. Choules said he initially wanted to be in the animal care industry. “When I was younger I thought about being a veterinarian but didn’t pursue that because of my aversion of blood,” said Dr. Choules.
Dr. Choules studied to become and engineer when he did research in high school about potential future careers. “When I was in high school I researched the most about engineering and decided the mechanical engineer was the most versatile and are used in the broadest spectrum of engineering,” said Dr. Choules. While in the industry of mechanical engineering he did, in fact, proceed to get a job in the medical device area. “I eventually had to get over that fear of blood,” said Dr. Choules
Mechanical Engineers in this field are involved in many processes of the devices in the medical field. “I was involved in the design and testing for all medical devices that were mechanical in nature,” said Dr. Choules, “I directed a team that conducted test to show the devices were safe to the FDA, I also wrote the standards for these tests as well.” Dr. Choules also worked on vascular devices such as stents, grafts and IVC (inferior vana cafa) filters, they prevent passage of thrombosis that could end up in your lungs and potentially kill you. “That’s a pretty big deal,” said Dr. Choules
Experience in the field can be an important aspect when it comes down to teaching, with many professors bring their own industry experiences, Dr. Choules is no different. “I plan on bringing some of my research on medical devices here to help teach.”
Dr. Choules also stated that he enjoys students learning and grasping new concepts, especially in his underclassman MATLAB class. “Many [students in] the freshman class haven’t programed on a computer before and seeing them make progress to the point where they sometimes correct me is great,” said Dr. Choules, “The most frustrating part is when I am not able or a student is not understanding a concept. I take that upon myself internally so that can be frustrating. I want everyone to succeed.”
The transition from industry to academia is never an easy or simple one, Dr. Choules says he’s found a place for him to be comfortable. “I felt it was a really great environment to transfer from the industry to academia,” said Dr. Choules. “I felt like the focus on teaching, I feel it would allow me to do what I want to which is mentor, pass on what I learned from the industry.”

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