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Lowery builds a career in valve engineering

For Tripp Lowery, BSME ’21, his vision to build a career in valve testing and engineering fueled his drive to finish his degree. Lowery served in the United States Navy before enrolling at Ohio University and this previous life experience allowed him to develop a sense of clarity and determination to pursue a career in engineering. 

Today, Lowery works as a project engineer for Amtec North America, Inc., which provides equipment and technical services for fluid sealings like valves. He spends his days conducting fugitive emission testing to determine the quality and sealability of any given valve. The standardization of this testing helps to reduce the leakage of harmful gases generated by industrial activities that contribute to environmental pollution. 

His current role is highly specialized, which was intentional on his end. While traveling to visit his father in China, Lowery was able to meet with engineers who worked across the globe, specifically in valve engineering. He saw that their specialization allowed them the freedom to set their own schedules and travel around the world. Additionally, being highly specialized set them apart in industry, as their knowledge was highly sought after in their respective fields. 

“I didn’t want to be at a company where I was another number. I wanted to be a specialist, which is why I chose valves,” said Lowery. 

His approach to his degree allowed for trial and error as he found his path to valves. Lowery began his journey at Ohio University with an interest in pharmacy, which evolved into civil engineering before landing on his final major, mechanical engineering. His flexibility allowed him to narrow his focus as he explored his varied interests. 

Lowery balanced multiple jobs and an active social life while pursuing his degree. His greatest hurdle, however, came when the tragic loss of his mother coincided with the course load of his final semester, including courses in machine design, CAD and heat and fluids.  

“How am I going to do this?” said Lowery reflecting on the roles he was juggling in his professional and personal life. 

Lowery had to lean on the faculty in mechanical engineering to support him through this challenging time. Robert Williams, professor; Timothy Cyders, associate professor; and Gregory Kremer, Robe professor and chair of mechanical engineering, were key faculty members who supported Lowery as he finished the final semester of his degree. He noted that their understanding and support, both personally and academically, were the key to his success. 

Beyond his final semester, Lowery recounted the day-to-day challenges he and his peers experienced in the classroom. It is no secret that engineering courses can be academically rigorous, with specific courses challenging even the most prepared students. 

“Dr. Cyders’ courses have a reputation for being tough, but he does it so you can learn. You need to ask questions and be present,” said Lowery. 

While these courses helped Lowery hone his technical skills to flourish in the engineering industry, he also gained a strong network of support through his faculty and peers at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Beyond his engineering skills, the Russ College even tipped Lowery off to a potential career at Amtec, his current employer. 

After seeing a job listing in a Russ College newsletter shortly before he graduated, Lowery finally saw an opportunity to pursue a career in valve testing. Within only a few months’ time, Lowery was a project engineer for the company. His journey as a nontraditional student was nonlinear, but he maintained focus, embraced support and followed his dreams. 

April 26, 2022
Staff reports