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Alex Stringer: Macey Scholar, Electrical Engineer

SOCORRO, N.M. May 9, 2013 – Alex Stringer has made a long round trip that started and ended in Socorro – and includes being a 2013-2014 Macey Scholar. Stringer, a junior in electrical engineering, grew up in Socorro. His mother, Gill Bond, was a long-time materials engineering professor.

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Alex Stringer, 2013-2014 Macey Scholar

 

While attending high school at Christ the King School in Los Lunas, Stringer accompanied his mother – who had retired as a professor – to Illinois for the summer. While there, they met a couple and became fast friends. The couple invited Stringer to visit them in Wyoming, which he did. While there, he met the couple’s daughter, Eileen. Before long, Alex and Eileen were dating and attending the same school – Northwest College. In 2010, they got married and moved back to Socorro.

“I had been studying political science and history,” Stringer said. “I thought they were both fascinating, but I didn’t think I was enjoying it the way I was supposed to. I became friends with some engineering students and they really seemed to be enjoying their stuff.”

So, Alex transferred to Tech and started working at the Energetic Materials Research Testing Center, where he had worked while a high school student. As a lab technician, he conducts test on explosives and does some small-scale testing.

Stringer is also doing research into lightning, along with professors Dr. Rene Arechiga and Dr. Bill Rison.

Stringer is analyzing lightning data and setting up an array of infrasound sensors in the Magdalena Mountains that detects lightning.

Stringer said, “Explosives are fun,” and that “lightning is interesting,” but what he truly wants to follow as a career path is prosthetics.

“I like the idea of replacing limbs – limbs that could be electrically linked to the brain,” he said. “We could overcome those things that have traditionally been obstacles. That’s really why I want to study electrical engineering.”

Stringer has taken on leadership roles in a variety of campus organizations. He is an officer for Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and will serve as president next year. He is a mentor for freshmen and organized study and review sessions for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. Through Tau Beta Pi, he served as judge for the Science Olympiad and also volunteered for the Science Fair.

Stringer said he credits his wife, Eileen, with supporting him throughout his studies and his campus involvement.

“She’s been supportive and she likes the fact that I am taking this on,” he said. “She wants to go into nursing. Once I finish, she’ll look at schools. We’re taking turns to avoid student loans.”

Professors Dr. Kevin Wedeward and Dr. Arechiga wrote recommendation letters, in which they both praised Stringer’s intellect, insight and leadership.

Arechiga wrote, “I think of him more like a graduate student than an undergraduate. … [Alex[ brought with him an unusually strong understanding of the societal, ethical, economic and political implications of engineering practice, as well as excellent communication skills.”

Wedeward said Stringer is consistently one of the best students in class. “His questions, insight and organization indicuate someone who really enjoys learning and is not trying to ‘just get by’.”

While he abandoned his course work in political science, he’s still interested in applying the knowledge gained in that field. After finishing at Tech, Stringer hopes to take on leadership roles in industry.

“I hope to … continue my outreach to future generations of scientists and engineers, and to keep working to improve the world around me.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech