Where will an engineering science degree take my son?

Trinity University engineering grad Eric Schluter and his dad, Thomas
by Thomas Schluter — 

An engineering science degree from any university is a commendable achievement and will serve a graduate well. However, an engineering science degree from Trinity is different and special. It prepares its students to communicate, articulate, and problem solve in ways that a traditional engineering curriculum does not. Our son Eric, who just graduated in May 2016, enjoyed three diverse and challenging summer internships during his time at Trinity. He is now looking forward to starting his new job at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, which he chose over several other excellent job offers.

As parents, we all want the best for our children which definitely includes them having a successful and rewarding career.

What should I look for in a college's engineering science program?

When we were looking for universities for Eric, we only considered schools with an accredited engineering department. Being ABET accredited is important not only because it shows parents that a program has merit and helps push the administrators and teachers involved in the program to grow and improve, but employers know that graduates of ABET-accredited programs are prepared to enter the workforce. The student to teacher ratio is also very important - Trinity enjoys 9 to 1 ratio. Another unique aspect of Trinity is its requirement that all students take numerous classes outside their major. The University encourages each student to participate in sports (varsity or intramural), community organizations, RUF, and many more. This creates well rounded young men and women who are prepared to succeed not only in engineering related jobs but also in all other aspects of society.

Will my student be able to interact with professors?

Trinity’s engineering department differentiates itself from engineering departments at other schools because Trinity’s professors make it their mission to have students succeed in the program and in life. They treat each student as their own son or daughter and go out of their way to help in any way they can. Your student will always be able to speak with the professor and not a TA. They have scheduled office hours multiple days of every week. To this day I am still very involved with the University and the engineering department and attend the yearly Trinity Engineering Department open house events during Alumni Weekend.

Trinity University engineering professor Josh Schwartz and Eric Schluter
Eric Schluter works one-on-one with engineering professor Joshua Schwartz
Is there a chance for hands-on design practice in a school's engineering program?

All first-year engineering students at Trinity immediately get exposed to the design curriculum. This exposes the student to real life design projects and teaches them on how to solve problems, work with other team members, and have fun at the same time. Freshmen projects have included the design of a water balloon launcher where the balloon has to hit one of the design professors standing 50 feet away and the design of an egg launcher capable of launching an egg from the top of the football stadium onto a target (the egg can’t be boiled and it can’t break).

Each year the design projects become more complex, requiring the students to work smarter and become more creative. Some of the successful projects include designing a weed eater and riding lawn mower for disabled operators, a smart watch that automatically calls for help in case of a medical emergency or fall, and a self-guided robot capable of providing tours of the entire Center for the Sciences and Innovation building.

What is the employment outlook for my student upon graduation? 

As I mentioned earlier, our son is now gainfully employed! He had six interviews in the spring of his graduating year from all different type of industries - insurance/banking/investments/real estate, IT consulting, petrochemical, and research and development. He interviewed in person at five of the six companies and received a job offer from each of them. This is due in no small part to his education and experiences at Trinity and to the wonderful reputation that Trinity enjoys in the workplace.

About Thomas

Thomas Schluter graduated in December of 1985 with a degree in engineering science with a concentration in mechanical engineering and a minor in math. My Trinity professors were instrumental in who I am today. Richard Swope, one of my engineering professors, recommended me to his friend who owned an engineering company. I was offered and accepted the job in April 1986. After working for the company for five years I bought it in April 1991. It has grown from 15 full time employees in 1986 to over 110 today. I have hired five Trinity University engineering students and will continue to hire both engineering and non-engineering interns and graduates. I am a member of the Trinity University Engineering Board of Advisors and truly value my ongoing relationship with both the faculty and the school.


  1. Great post from a great Trinity family.

  2. We're so thrilled for Eric and the wonderful Schluter Family!

  3. Thanks for posting! I’m the original author of this article.I really loved reading your thoughts about engineering knowledge for all.
    Metal Fabrication