Amy Moncus Lexington, Ala. / 33 Biosystems Engineering BS, 2006 Auburn University Soil Conservationist USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Moulton, Ala. Auburn University felt like home when I first visited the campus. Biosystems engineering intrigued me, and the first time I sat in the computer lab and connected with my classmates, I knew I was right where I belonged. The degree program brought classes I enjoyed, down-to-earth professors who cared about my success, lifelong friends, and a wonderful career. And I met my husband and best friend, Mack, as well! There are many avenues within biosystems engineering, but natural resources is my path. I interned at the state office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Auburn and continued part-time until I graduated, assisting state engineers with designs and tracking information on watershed dams. I was trained and mentored by excellent engineers. I was offered an ag engineering position with the NRCS Bay Minette Field Office as a conservationist and planner. I bring a technical background but do designs for conservation practices, too. I work with producers to carry out conservation practices through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) via watering facility designs and conservation plans for grazing lands, and then make field visits to ensure the installation meets NRCS standards and perform practice certification. Mack Moncus Lexington, Ala. / 32 Biosystems Engineering BS, 2006 Auburn University ASABE Member Project Engineer TTL, Inc., Decatur, Ala. Like Amy, I knew I made the right decision to pursue biosystems engineering when I started at Auburn. Every professor had an open door and welcomed students for questions, investing their time willingly. I learned how to learn and broaden my horizons, and choose a career path that suits me individually. I interned with the Seed Technology Center in Auburn, cleaning silos between shipments of grain. I bagged seeds, stacked, and then organized pallets to be used for research. I was an undergrad assistant as well, working with research in variablerate technology for fertilizer spreading, and silt fence sediment reduction. I ginned cotton and separated seeds from lint in yield studies. And I traveled to Freising, Germany, for study at the Technical University of Munich, assisting with the investigation of a smart bearing for application in a self-propelled forage harvester. The smart bearing provides real-time data to an operator: radial load, load angle, balance, and rpm of any axle with the bearing mounted. I collected data with different loads, speeds, positions, and angles, and was challenged to be efficient and precise as well as think outside the box. Accurate data collection is the basis for all engineering work. Today at TTL, I work on a variety of projects—deep foundations (auger cast pile installation), groundwater monitoring, asphalt design for roads, foundation inspections, and construction material testing data review. And I obtained my professional engineering license while raising two kids, giving 110% to a full-time job, and building a house. Amy gave me the time to study whenever we could find it. We met at a meeting of the ASABE student chapter. I first noticed her sitting at a table alone—an opportunity! I introduced myself, and she didn’t give me the time of day, but I persisted. The group took several trips, and because of our studies and our love of the land, we started dating. We spent enough time together during ASABE events to realize we had a lot in common. We attended a student rally in Kentucky, won the Student Chapter of the Year award, and returned to Auburn to roll Toomer’s Corner in victory! Our biosystems education and ASABE not only brought us together but also taught us to balance a work schedule and complete tasks on time. If I had a personal mission statement, it would be “Work hard, start on time, and end on time.” Amy would agree with this. Hard work pays off, and dedication to a degree program, a work project, or a relationship—it sets you apart.
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