- Major: Computer engineering and mechanical engineering
- GPA: 3.73
- Hometown: Elkhorn, Nebraska
- Clubs/activities: Cardinal Space Mining, Triangle Fraternity, ISU Marching Band
- Awards/honors: Dean’s List, Iowa State University Honors Program, George Washington Carver Scholar, National Merit Finalist, Eagle Scout
What is your overall career goal? Complete a master’s degree then work as an engineer on a small-scale team
Favorite place on ISU’s campus: Coover’s TLA, Maple Trees by Black Engineering, Band Practice Field
- Most influential ISU mentor? Jim Heise
- Why did you pick ISU? I picked ISU because I had an awesome scholarship opportunity, and our recruiting team went above and beyond while I was visiting.
While completing 188 total credit hours and double majoring in computer and mechanical engineering, Kevin Oran still made time to be heavily involved on campus in both academic and social organizations.
He is the project director of Cardinal Space Mining Club where he led the development of the electronics for their 2016, 2017 and 2018 competitions, developed a user interface to control the robots, designed and implemented a protocol to support server discovery and remote control, refactored the club’s code to share software components, and directed the systems engineering process within the club—being a teacher, reviewer, and facilitator of the club.
Oran considers the hard work he has done for the club his greatest accomplishment in his time at Iowa State.
Jim Heise, associate teaching professor of mechanical engineering and design projects coordinator, shared his experience with Oran’s leadership skills.
“Kevin has been a phenomenal addition to our team. His personality and character allows him to de-escalate tensions with a quick joke, and yet he speaks his mind even when it challenges how things were done before,” Heise said. “He has positively affected many in the club through his commitment to making the Cardinal Space Mining Club an excellent learning opportunity and collaborative environment for students.”
Oran is a member of Triangle fraternity, and has been chapter vice president for four years. He also led the standards board to promote academic and community involvement, directed new member education, and has coordinated and participated in after-season mentoring for FIRST Lego League teams at the Ames Middle School.
Oran has also been a part of the ISU Marching Band for four years and been a saxophone section leader for two of those years. As a section leader, he trained incoming members on marching fundamentals and took a mentor role for fellow saxophonists.
Oran interned at Rockwell Collins for three years, including working closely on the SEPP Direct Conversion Radio, a senior technical co-op, and a senior technical internship working on projects for higher ability students.
After graduation, Oran is taking a well-deserved couple months to travel, visit friends and rest. He has spent this fall applying to graduate programs at Stanford and UC Berkeley, and is waiting to hear the decisions in the spring. After he completes graduate school, he plans a career in the Bay Area working on embedded software.