Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh’s team project for his Computer Integrated Machining Technology major is building a train engine. Walsh, 22, from Fenton, Mo., has enjoyed trains from the moment his father gave him a model train, and his passion for railroading continues in his personal and academic life at RIT.

Walsh enrolled at RIT/NTID as a telecommunications major, but found he was far more interested in CIMT.

“After I changed my major, I was much more interested in my classes,” says the Garlinghouse Endowed Scholarship recipient, who has been on the Dean’s List multiple times.

After completing his associate degree, he will transfer directly to RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. He hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology by 2010.

“I enjoy taking ideas and drawings and making them into blueprints and then making the object—the whole product development process,” says Walsh. “I am pretty good at figuring out how things work.”

That skill definitely helped him during his recent co-op at Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Ill., where he did machining for various projects.

“At the arsenal, I learned that there is not just one way to accomplish a task. I also learned what it is like to be in a real work environment—not at all like college.”

Walsh works as a technician in the CIMT lab and is vice president of the RIT Model Railroad Club. He also volunteers at the Rochester Genesee Valley Railroad Museum in Rush, N.Y., repairing real vintage steam engines.

“RIT has given me a lot of things I never expected I would have,” he says. “I have had strong mentors here, and met people with like interests. I even met my girlfriend here.

“The education I’m getting will help me live life to the fullest.”

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2007 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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