David Cooper

Bluefield, WV

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Civil Emphasis.

1. Why did you choose Engineering as your major?

I chose engineering as my major because I have always possessed a passion to create new and innovative solutions to problems that trouble society every day. It is extremely exciting for me to think that my understanding of math and physics may potentially have a positive influence on the lives of thousands or even millions of people throughout the Appalachian community.

2. When did you decide you wanted to pursue that major?

Even at a young age, it was always clear that I possessed a fascination for the ideas of simple physics. Therefore, it is possible for one to assume that I was always meant to be an engineer, but it wasn’t until I attended several engineering camps throughout my time in high school that I truly settled on engineering as a major.

3. What influenced your decision?

My decision to become an engineer was most significantly influenced by the environment in which I grew up. Being the grandson of a former West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) engineer, the grandson of a former construction contractor, and the son of a small business owner, I have always been around some sort of construction or situation the required the expertise of an engineering-minded individual.

4. Why did you choose to attend Marshall University?

I was attracted to Marshall University because of the small class sizes in the engineering department. At most large universities, engineering students are nothing more than a name on a roster, but at Marshall, students have the opportunity to interact directly with professors both inside and outside of classroom on a daily basis.

5. What has been your favorite Engineering class as a student and why?

My favorite engineering class that I have taken so far is the mechanics of deformable bodies. Most people would be pretty scared if you told them that the bridges they drive on everyday are constantly bending and deforming, but I find that idea to be extremely fascinating. It’s crazy to think about all the different forces acting inside a structure that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

6. What do you plan to do after graduation?

After graduation I plan to pursue a career with the US Army Corps of Engineers. With over 4000 of America’s dams being classified as structurally deficient in 2013, I have a specific interest in helping restore these dams to acceptable conditions in order to properly secure the safety of our communities and our economy.