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Auburn Utilities and Energy director finds opportunity through MEM degree

By Carla Nelson

Published: May 10, 2022 3:20:00 PM

Ken Martin, director of utilities and energy at Auburn University, graduated with the Master of Engineering Management in December and chose the “systems” program option. Ken Martin, director of utilities and energy at Auburn University, graduated with the Master of Engineering Management in December and chose the “systems” program option.

When Ken Martin, director of utilities and energy at Auburn University, decided to return to the classroom to complete a master's degree, the Master of Engineering Management through the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering was the perfect fit.

Martin graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University in 1998. He originally worked in manufacturing before accepting a position with Auburn in 2004.

“We always had that nice employee discount sitting out there to take classes, but I never could figure out what the program was that fit me best,” Martin said. “Eventually this program came up with engineering management and I just thought it was a good fit for me and what I do with tying the business side into the engineering piece. It was the right fit at the right time.” 

Martin graduated with the Master of Engineering Management in December and chose the “systems” program option.

“I work at Facilities Management on campus and it’s a big organization, but we also deal with the total picture within the campus and must think about stakeholders,” Martin said. “Those classes fit well in just thinking globally on projects, especially on some of our bigger construction projects that could impact a lot of people.”

Although it wasn’t easy at times, Martin finished his degree in three years. The Master of Engineering Management has opened opportunities at Auburn University that would not be available to him otherwise.

“I have encouraged some junior folks in our department to look at this degree,” Martin said. “If you want to steer out of the peer engineering work and take on more of a leadership role, this program will help with that.”

Media Contact: Carla Nelson, cmn0023@auburn.edu,

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