5 minutes with Melisa Ball ’08

Position: Manufacturing engineer, welding and fabrication, BSH Home Appliances Corp., New Bern

Degree: Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering technology, mechanical design concentration and a minor in business

Hometown: Clayton

“We incorporate many tasks of an industrial engineer. Daily tasks include welding robot programming, fabrication programming, plant layout and production flow. On a greater scale we focus on the value stream process to eliminate waste and decrease our time to make the product start to finish. It is never a dull moment. But I enjoy the merger of the two because it makes us all better-rounded engineers.

“I would not be here today if it were not for Amy Frank. At the time Amy was my advisor and I was struggling with my previous major, biology. I have always had difficulty reading. I was performing in all classes except the ones with a lot of research. She looked through my high school paperwork and suggested the (Bachelor of Science in industrial technology) program. I had never thought of a future in engineering or factory work. But once I began taking the classes, I excelled and had a blast. She even helped my husband find his road four years later. We owe her everything for our success and hopefully long futures in the engineering realm.

“I learned a lot (at ECU), but I think the main thing was always think outside the box. For many majors, the classes teach you the standard or only way of doing something. In engineering, there are hundreds of ways to get your task completed. The trick is to find the best one for the application. A lot of the professors in the BSIT program know that we all think and perform differently. They allowed us the freedom to complete the task our way, as long as the end result was the same. This helps develop each engineer and really makes one think on a larger scale.

“A lot of people would rather have women engineers. It brings a different skill set, a different approach.”

We want to hear stories from alumni about how their experiences at ECU shaped them today and how they pass those lessons to others. Send us an email at easteditor@ecu.edu.