Smith a leader among engineering students

Southern Illinois University



March 14, 2016



Steven E. Smith is the president of the Engineering Student Council this semester at Southern Illinois University.

A native of St. Charles, Mo., Smith is the son of Larry and Carol Smith. He comes to the engineering field naturally, following in his father’s footsteps.

“My dad graduated from SIU engineering in 1983 and introduced me to the school,” Smith said. “After touring the facilities and talking to a few professors I felt that SIU had the curriculum and programs where I could succeed.”

A member of the Engineering Student Council the past two years, Smith also served three years as treasurer for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He also participated in the Undergraduate Student Government during his freshman year and volunteered with the local high school marching band in Carbondale.

In his spare time, Smith enjoys taking in the outdoor activities that Southern Illinois provides.

“Visiting Garden of the Gods for the first time was a truly breath-taking experience,” he said. “Also, kayaking on the campus lake was also a lot of fun.”

Smith said the College of Engineering has lived up to the expectations he built after visiting SIU with his alumnus father.

“The best part of being an engineering student at SIU is the cooperative atmosphere that exists across the entire college,” he said. “Students want to work together if we are having problems with a certain class, which I know doesn’t exist at all schools. As well, there are many different engineering organizations I can choose to be a part of even if they don’t necessarily fall in my field of study.”

Smith said the College of Engineering and its faculty are helping him prepare for a career by providing experiences such as the externship program, which provides students with the opportunity to spend a week job shadowing a person in their field. The college also works with private companies on projects, allowing students to get an idea of the problems that the industry is currently facing.

“They are also starting to offer a mentoring program where I will be paired with an alumni who can give me guidance into the engineering industry,” Smith said.

Upon graduating, Smith wants to work for a power company in the utility field.

“I feel the utility industry is one of the most underappreciated industries in engineering and I want to be part of an industry that affects the everyday lives of people,” he said.