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Alumnus Ty Jones uses mechanical engineering degree to merge interests

When Ty Jones (BS ’17) of Memphis, Tennessee, was filling out college applications, he Googled the best petroleum engineering schools in the country. Search results showed The University of Tulsa was among the top three. TU’s history as a petroleum engineering leader worldwide was appealing, and he liked what he saw during his campus tour. Once at TU, Jones switched his major to mechanical engineering to learn about different types of technology and widen his view of engineering. “In mechanical engineering, you’re still able to do petroleum engineering,” he says. “It’s pretty much a win-win situation.”

Learn more about the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

ty jonesHis senior design project involved building a robotic arm and manufacturing different types of joint mechanisms for the device. Jones expanded his skillset and changed majors by reaching out to other versatile departments such as the Tandy School of Computer Science in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. “Just having labs open pretty much 24 hours and professors who are willing to help made it much easier for me to go about that switch and move closer to what I wanted to be,” he says.

By the time Jones graduated in December 2017, he had completed six internships in oil and gas, software and automotive technology. He also had acquired a full-time position as a software engineer at Jardum in Owasso, Oklahoma, an automotive and transportation technology company. “We have guys working on software for yachts and UTVs, and I’m actually working on an oil and gas project,” he says. “It ties into everything I’ve learned.”

Jones also has created 10 apps including one for TU that provides virtual campus tours to prospective students. With plans to make his life in Tulsa for the next few years, Jones hopes to merge his software and mechanical skills and one day build a technology company of his own. He aspires to be a “superb multitasker” along the same lines as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, developing top-of-the-line technology in software, oil and gas, automotive, music and more. “I want to be an engineer who can do anything,” he says. “That’s what I pride myself on, and it’s crazy how it aligned so perfectly.”