Sparks fly in ECpE

“I was just cracking jokes, and I saw her two seats over and said hi, introducing myself,” Cameron Cornick said. “We ended up sitting on the same side of the room, on the right-hand side.”

Ashlyn Cornick, a DMACC transfer student, met her now-husband Cameron, a sophomore at Iowa State University, in Electrical Engineering 285, Intro to Engineering Problem Solving. Back then, Cameron was an occasionally rambunctious sophomore, and Ashlyn was a quieter student just beginning her adventure at Iowa State. But now, the two are successful electrical engineers and ISU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering alums living in Rochester, Minnesota.

When Ashlyn and Cameron first met, they immediately felt an electrifying spark between them. Less than a month after meeting, their first date took place at Stomping Grounds Café in Ames’ Campustown.

“Mid-September of 2013 is when we went on our first date at Stomping Grounds,” Ashlyn said.

“It was on a Wednesday, the 18th, and we started dating on the 19th,” Cameron added.

After their first date, the two were together often, a lot of the time studying for exams or doing homework together.

“After that date we started hanging out, doing classwork, and chilled at my dorm until we had class,” Cameron said. “Ashlyn would park her car at Hy-vee and come to the bus stop right outside of Friley.”

With Ashlyn being a transfer student, transferring multiple times, she had never taken a programming class until that semester. And during that semester, she ended up taking two programming classes at once.

“Cameron helped me a lot with programming, because I had never programmed before this semester. He saved me with that,” she said.

About two-and-a-half years later, on a snowy evening just before Christmas, Cameron proposed in Mason City, Iowa, his hometown.

“It was December 23rd, and I had already set up Christmas lights and had the fireplace ready,” Cameron said. “We were thinking of doing it Christmas Eve, but the snow was just so beautiful that I had to do it one day early.”

“So I lit the fire, turned on the lights, and then she comes down off the deck, and I’m just waiting on the chair with the ring box. She came down, but she was bound and determined to build a snowman and I kept telling her to ‘hold on!’,” Cameron said. “Then I got down on one knee, she said yes, and after that we made a snowman!”

When Cameron chose the rings, he specifically had the bands made with an outlying pattern of an electrical circuit. In the center of the ring is an orange, durable stone. Cameron chose an orange and durable stone not only because Ashlyn’s favorite color is orange, but also since she has a history of losing the stones in rings, so a durable one is needed.

“I had been thinking of the circuit design but wasn’t really sure what pattern I should use for the circuit,” Cameron said. “I ended up choosing this circuit design with an orange stone.”

Now, happily married, Ashlyn and Cameron work in Minnesota, both with separate electrical engineering careers. Cameron works with the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as a hardware engineer in Rochester, and Ashlyn works with Viking Engineering and Development as an electrical controls engineer in the Twin Cities.

“At my job in the cities, we manufacture machines that build palates and bedframes,” Ashlyn said. “Every day is different. You never sit still.”

At Viking Engineering and Development, Ashlyn said there are about 70 employees and three electrical engineers, including her, so her work revolves around many different aspects.

“I work with customers, employees, suppliers and so many different people,” she said. “I just did an event last Thursday helping women get into STEM fields, talking to girls in high school or at the beginning of their college career.”

At IBM, Cameron is part of the hardware design group, and he has worked there for about three years now. He and about 15 other employees all work together and on their own.

“At my current position, I design custom circuits for chips, which is actually exactly what I went to school for,” Cameron said.

While Ashlyn and Cameron are both very successful in Minnesota, they still occasionally reminisce the good times at ISU. From when they first met sophomore year to when they graduated in the midst of a blizzard in December 2016, they made a lot of memories that haven’t been forgotten.

“I remember when ECpE had the department picnics and there was always free pizza,” Cameron, who was also a TA for some of his time in ECpE, said.

For Ashlyn, she remembered taking 19 credits her last semester, and how much of a workload that was.

“I was not going to get married in school,” Ashlyn said. “My last semester I took 19 credits and there was no way I could’ve planned a wedding.”

While studying, doing homework and going to class took a lot of time, since they often did it together it went a little faster. Now, all of the studying and hard work that the two of them put in has paid off, and they are working jobs that some students in ECpE dream of.