College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

The value of an engineering education

“The benefit of an engineering education is that, in addition to the specific subject matter, you learn the habits of self-study that will carry you through your career. In engineering you are always having to learn new material along the way, which is a very valuable skill,” said Stephen Mosher (’70 elec engr).

Headshot of Stephen Mosher smiling.
Stephen Mosher (’70 elec engr).

Mosher has put lifelong learning into action as a successful electrical engineer-turned-patent attorney – and in service to his community on the Board of Trustees of Brite Divinity School, a Theological Seminary, and the board for the Fort Worth Regional Science Fair.

Mosher has recently been appointed to the Board of Judges of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame; a program founded by the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library.

The Friends group established a Texas Literary Hall of Fame more than 15 years ago, and it holds a biennial event to recognize authors who have advanced the literary heritage of Texas.

“I’ve had a long-time association with the Friends,” Mosher said. “I am very honored to be a part of this Hall of Fame event to help select finalists for the award.”

Engineer turned attorney

After working for 20 years as an engineer, Mosher obtained a law degree and has worked as a patent attorney since the mid-90s. His experience and education as an engineer prepared him to take on anything that came his way over the years, Mosher said.

“It is fun being a patent attorney. I like to write and apply that great education I received at Iowa State,” Mosher said.

He said there are many long-term benefits to an engineering degree.

“You learn a lot about applied science, and mathematics, physics, chemistry and thermodynamics and so forth. So, no matter the branch of engineering you go into, you still get all those fundamentals that are useful in a variety of fields,” Mosher said.

He said that some of his elective courses as a senior really enabled him to succeed working in the computer engineering department of the Tandy Corporation, which manufactured the Radio Shack and Tandy computers.

Cyclone roots

Mosher has deep roots at Iowa State, following the path to Ames of his grandfather, M.L. Mosher, who graduated with a bachelor’s (1905) and Master of Arts (1915) in agronomy and went on to become the first county extension agent in Iowa. Stephen’s uncle, Arthur T. Mosher also studied at Iowa State before finishing up his education at the University of Chicago.

Once a cyclone, always a cyclone.