Kyle Thomson '20, BS Civil Engineering
Hometown: Lancaster, N.Y.
Thanks to my involvement with Project Lead the Way, while in high school in Western New York, I created a solar-powered water-purifying bottle — and realized I was interested in engineering. Thanks to help from the Shipley Center for Innovation here at Clarkson, I now have a business producing that bottle so that victims of natural disasters will have access to safe, clean, drinking water.
I chose to attend Clarkson because it's a small, private school located six hours from my home. I was well-prepared academically, but, since completing my first year, I realize that Clarkson is a world of exciting new experiences. I have enjoyed meeting new people and discovering new interests. I'm involved in the SPEED Steel Bridge team, designing and building a special project and then competing against other teams. There's pressure, but it's a lot of fun. We get together every Saturday from 9–5 to work on the project, and then we go to dinner. I've made new friends and worked with new tools!
I'm also involved with business development through Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation, club soccer and intramural hockey.
As for a career, I'm interested in infrastructure, roads and environmental science, so I'm majoring in civil engineering, with minors in math and management. I intend to secure a civil engineering position in the Northeastern United States. My goal for next year is to participate in an internship, and, then, in the fall of my junior year, I plan to study abroad.
My first year at Clarkson went by quickly. Soon after I began classes, I got an email from the Shipley Center about the North Country Regional Business Plan Competition. I'm proud to say that my water-bottle concept took first place in the clean technology category! We went on to state competition in Albany and took home the People's Choice Award.
I first conceived of the bottle after Hurricane Katrina, when so many people didn't have clean water, but it would also be perfect for campers. It's a wonderful feeling to do so well with this product and to be able to make it a reality for those who will need it. This never would have been possible without Clarkson.
A lot of my friends who have attended Clarkson got their dream jobs, and I know that alumni are strong and involved. Being a student here connects me to a big network of leadership and achievement. I am loving this opportunity to see how far and fast I can go!