FLATE IAC Chair & HCC Alumnus Outlines His Journey to Becoming an Engineer

The Engineering Technology program at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and FLATE, the Florida-
based, National Science Foundation Regional Center of Excellence at HCC in Brandon, have shared a longstanding strategic relationship in devising curriculum and professional development initiatives targeted to enrich the educational and professional experiences of faculty and students enrolled in the A.S degree in Engineering Technology (A.S.E.T). Most recently, the engineering society at HCC-Brandon invited Peter Cirak, Quality Assurance Director at Seal Dynamics, a global aerospace manufacturer in Tampa to speak about his illustrious career and give students a first-hand perspective about what it takes to succeed in a STEM-related career in manufacturing, and educational, technical and real-life skills needed to become an engineer.

Cirak embarked on his journey full of promise. As an alumna of HCC, Cirak was among the first group of honors students at HCC, and was the Founder and the first President of the Arete Honors Student Organization. He was also the founding editor of the Honors students’ newsletter, a student government senator who through these positions got the opportunity to present at state, regional and national conferences.

From serving as the co-President of the American Institute Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) at Boston

University where he earned his Bachelors and Masters degree in aerospace engineering, to pursuing the Edison Engineering Leadership Program while working at GE, to serving as Senior Quality Engineer and Director of Quality Assurance, Cirak outlined his journey to becoming an engineer and more importantly the invaluable experiences he gained at various multi-national companies. “You’re only limited by your own imagination” Cirak said. Drawing upon his own experiences both as a student and as a professional, Cirak emphasized the importance of continuous education, staying involved, and being passionate about the work they do.

Cirak also shares a close connection with FLATE in serving as a member of its National Visiting Committee and Chair of its Industrial Advisory Committee. For more information about FLATE and the two year A.S.E.T programs offered at HCC and 19 state/community colleges across Florida visit http://madeinflorida.org/engineering-technology-degree, or contact Executive Director of FLATE Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. To join HCC’s Engineering Society contact President of the Society, Chris Taylor at ctaylor86@hccfl.edu.