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Military service inspires outstanding ASU grad to pursue engineering

Brendan Adair is being recognized as an Outstanding Graduate in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering for achievements and involvement in the ASU community.

April 29, 2023

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Brendan Dee Adair transferred to Arizona State University from Pikes Peak State College, where he started his engineering education after serving in the U.S. Army. He chose to study environmental and resource management after gaining exposure to the field while deployed in Romania.

“I have always been driven toward sustainable engineering, particularly in the field of energy,” Adair says. “This program allowed me to choose electives that fit what I wanted to study. The program was based in science and engineering and offered a little bit of everything needed to be successful in a sustainable industrial setting.”  

During his undergraduate studies in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, Adair got hands-on experience as a facilities engineer intern for FDM Energy Innovations, where he helped develop the battery system in development for storing electricity at ASU’s West campus.

Through his education and internship at Veterans to Energy Careers, an organization that helps military veterans transition into sustainable energy careers, Adair learned that an engineering education changes more than just a person’s job.

“Engineering has given me the chance to go from being a mechanic and changing out parts to tackling problems with my own ideas and finding new ways to get the job done,” he says.

Adair is grateful to Al Brown, a professor emeritus of engineering at The Polytechnic School, for shaping his perspective on the industry.

“Al Brown motivated me to look forward to working in the field of environmental sciences through his love of the profession and teaching,” Adair says. “Every day in his class, I could see how much he cared for the environment and those who work to protect it through the way he pushed students to put effort into their work.” 

Adair also found a tour of electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid Motors’ factory as particularly memorable. He and other students analyzed ways the factory could improve its environmental impact and got a glimpse into how modern manufacturing facilities work.

“This showed us that just because a common process may be in use, it is not always the best way to do some things,” he says.

After graduation, Adair will begin his career as an energy advisor for Franklin Energy. He eventually aspires to run his own energy consulting company, helping old industrial facilities become more reliant on renewable energy resources and energy-efficient.

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