College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Aaron Schoon: Outstanding senior in mechanical engineering

Aaron Schoon


Goose Lake, Iowa

Clubs and activities

Manufacturing Lab Technician, Undergraduate Research Assistant, ASC Tutor, Iowa State Honors Program, Tau Beta Pi, Iowa State Honor’s Program, Intramural Sports

Valuable hands-on learning in class

ME 324L (Manufacturing Lab) exposed me to experiences that influenced my career path post-graduation. While taking the class, I had the chance to apply real-world manufacturing technologies, which allowed me to relate my understanding of how things are made with the content I had learned in my more technical engineering classes. Ever since this has changed the way I see the world and how I think as an engineer.

Out-of-the-classroom engineering experience

My time as a coop for Pella Corporation significantly impacted my ability to work in a professional setting as an engineer and achieve company goals for early product development. From a technical perspective, I gained invaluable experience with CAD design while also learning how to conduct FEA and thermal studies design concepts. Additionally, from a business perspective, I learned how to design for manufacturability and think from a customer’s perspective to best represent the company brand. 

Most influential mentor

Ethan Secor, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and head of the Secor Research Group at Iowa State, played a significant role in my academic and professional success while at Iowa State. As an undergraduate research assistant in his lab, Dr. Secor sparked my interest in electronics, sensors and instrumentation while supporting me in completing my Honor’s Project. Other notable mentors I have had at Iowa State include Wyman Martinek and Josh Delarm, teaching laboratory specialists for ME 324L (Manufacturing Lab). Manufacturing skills and knowledge that I have learned from them during my time as a student and lab technician have contributed to my success as a coop and towards my employment post-graduation as a process engineer.

Best memory

My best memories at Iowa State come from my time spent with friends and being involved with activities on campus. Living in Anders as a sophomore and freshman, I always looked forward to participating in intramural sports and other dorm activities to get a break from homework. Additionally, when I was busy with school, I could always rely on my peers to help me through difficult content. 

Plans after graduation

I will be working as a process engineer for Pella Corporation, which manufactures windows and doors. I worked for Pella Corporation previously as a co-op for a semester, and I look forward to expanding my career within the company while positively impacting its success.

Making my mark on the world

As someone who has always been curious about how things are made and who has enjoyed participating in design projects, I want to use the knowledge I have acquired as an engineering student to create and innovate. My experiences as an undergraduate researcher, intern and co-op have given me a chance to pursue this passion, and I plan to continue doing so as my career develops.

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer means effectively using the skills and knowledge you have gained as an engineer while also realizing the importance of collaborating with others towards achieving success. Throughout history, the world’s greatest engineering feats have been made through collective efforts. At Iowa State, opportunities to work within teams for classes, research, and clubs better prepare us to make a mark on history.