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January Engineer of the Month Ryan Muir (chemical engineering ’19) is making the most of his experience at the University of Cincinnati. On top of completing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Muir is taking graduate courses in environmental engineering through the Accelerated Engineering Degree (ACCEND) program.
Muir, originally from Brunswick, Ohio, has always had an interest in chemistry. After spending all of his cooperative education rotations with chemical manufacturing company BASF, Muir narrowed this interest into systems design. Once graduated, Muir looks to become a process designer for either a large chemical company or a consulting firm, using his degrees to help design processes that are economically and environmentally sustainable.
But Muir knows that not everyone’s path through college is this smooth. One of his biggest passions at UC is mentoring students who are unsure where they want to go in the engineering field.
“It’s important for me to help people who are just coming in and finding their way,” says Muir.
For more than three years, Muir has worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Engineering Education. He assists first-year students with coursework but, at the same time, guides students toward their interests.
“I hope that by bringing some of my experiences into the classroom and by working with my students, I can help them find their direction and the path forward,” says Muir.
Part of Muir’s interest in the chemical engineering field stems from its wide variety of applications. He saw this firsthand on co-op, but he also understands the field lends itself to broad range of applications. Muir hopes to expose fellow students to these diverse applications.
“One of my goals as a teaching assistant is to help [students] figure out where they want to go in engineering and all the different things you can do as an engineer,” he says.
According to the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science’s criteria, Engineers of the Month must demonstrate “excellence in the classroom, success in their co-op assignments and leadership through extracurricular activities on campus and/or in the community.” These students have found the balance needed to be leaders and exemplary scholars at UC.
UC Assistant Professor-Educator Nora Honken, Ph.D., supervised Muir as a teaching assistant. Honken nominated Muir for the award and sees a bright future for the young engineering student.
“Through our interactions, I have gained great respect for Ryan’s intelligence, work ethic and desire to help others,” she said. “I have no doubt that he will be one of our most successful engineering graduates.”
Muir attributes his success to simply having a passion for what he’s studying.
“If you’re passionate it’s easy to be successful,” he says. “So the long nights, and all the studying I’ve done, is a lot easier when you love what you do and you love the field of engineering that you’re in.”
Embracing that passion, as well as helping others find their passion, is what makes Muir an exemplary UC student and Engineer of the Month.
Photos and video by Corrie Stookey/CEAS Marketing.