Graduation marshal credits college's ECE program for career preparation

Published: Dec 5, 2022 7:20 AM

By Joe McAdory

Jacob Blanding, a graduating senior in electrical and computer engineering, will lead the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Class of 2022 in this fall’s commencement ceremonies, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10.

“I loved my time here at Auburn,” said Blanding, who has accepted a position at Dynetics, leading applied science and information technology firm in Huntsville, Alabama. “I feel I have really come into my own here and found my identity. Auburn gave me my closest friends and some of my most cherished experiences. I have spent a lot of time studying and really improving myself academically and professionally.”

Blanding’s Auburn experience allowed him valuable internships at the Nucor Corporation in Decatur, where he worked in power systems and maintenance, and at Chevron in Pascagoula, Miss., where he installed or upgraded a variety of instrumentation devices throughout the refinery.

“Auburn was extremely helpful and cooperative with my desire to get work experience and connected me with some great companies who have changed my life,” Blanding said.

Steven Taylor, interim dean of engineering, considered Blanding to be “the personification of the Auburn Creed, particularly where it reads ‘I believe in work, hard work.’”

“While he excelled inside the classroom as an electrical engineering student, earning membership into the Tau Beta Phi Honor Society, he has been even more inspiring outside of the classroom,” Taylor said. “Jacob selflessly served as an engineering tutor, helping to raise other students who might be struggling. In addition, his co-op experience with Nucor and his internship with Chevron will serve him well as he moves on to Huntsville to work with Dynetics. What better example could you have to show what it means, and takes, to be an Auburn Engineer?”

Blanding developed a passion for electrical and computer engineering early in his Auburn career when he was introduced to the principles of circuits, electricity and magnetism is a physics II class. “I went down the rabbit hole ever since and never looked back,” he said. “At Auburn, I loved the accessibility to all forms of studying. Professors, teaching assistants, tutors and even other students were willing to lend a hand, whether you were their student, friend, or not. Auburn exemplifies the idea that everything and anything can be accomplished through the proper amount of hard work and teamwork. Engineering is a team sport and Auburn has the best people you can have in your corner.”

Blanding didn’t rule out furthering his education one day via graduate school.

“With some experience, I would like to go back to school and earn a master’s in electrical engineering with a specialization in power systems, electromagnetism or renewable power systems,” he said. “The end goal for my career is to move into the renewable energy generation sector or into power transmission infrastructure upgrades.”

Auburn University will kick off its graduation weekend at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 9, at Jordan-Hare Stadium with a commencement address from 1994 Auburn alumnus Dr. Simona Black, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, who will deliver the keynote address.

The university will host 10 undergraduate ceremonies, including the conferral of master’s degrees and doctorates, on Dec. 10 beginning at 8 a.m., inside Neville Arena. Auburn Engineering is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Jacob Blanding's internship at Chevron in Pascagoula, Miss., helped prepare him for career endeavors.

Jacob Blanding's internship at Chevron in Pascagoula, Miss., helped prepare him for career endeavors.

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