David A Brown Tribute

A Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Engineering, David Brown (Mechanical Engineering 1968) was passionate about providing equality and access to STEM education to underserved communities.

The David Brown Fellowship in Mechatronics was established in 1996 to promote the professional development of students in the area of Mechatronics, and to advance the development of the Mechatronics program. The recipient of the $2,000 award is expected to contribute to mechatronics laboratory development and laboratory instruction during the fellowship year.

Fred Barez, Chair of Aviation and Technology, said:

Mr. David Brown was instrumental in the formation of the Mechatronics curriculum in the department, the first of its kind in the nation. His passion for seeing this curriculum come to fruition was amazing. He further supported this initiative by providing an annual Fellowship Award to two students.

His dedication to meeting the Fellowship Award recipients each year made the students, and the college, very appreciative. He truly was a Distinguished Alumnus and a very generous friend of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

We all will miss his annual visit to the ME Department to meet the students and the faculty. 

Benjamin Lagace, a manufacturing engineer and alumnus said:

While any financial assistance is wonderful for a student, I believe there were many “hidden” benefits to being awarded the David A. Brown Fellowship.

I enjoyed and learned a lot from being a lab instructor, which was required of the Fellows. The extended hands-on learning helped me get a much stronger grasp on the concepts taught in mechatronics, some of which I have applied to my current job.

I remember there were a few labs that I did not fully understand, and it wasn’t until the 2nd time teaching it that it finally made enough sense for me to be able to explain it correctly to my students!

Being a scholarship recipient also forced me to attend the awards events, where I ended up meeting people in the industry, attending other networking events, and was invited to to showcase a senior project with my senior design team. 

Nguyen Nguyen (Mechanical Engineering 2017), Teaching Assistant, said:

I applied for the Fellowship to assist with teaching Mechanical Engineering 106 because I found it was challenging to take the class and I wanted to improve my skills in the subject. The David Brown Fellowship gave me more confidence to continue as the TA.

After getting my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I have continued to TA for ME106. I've encouraged and inspired others to continue to study mechatronics. I am glad to see many of my students continue in the path. There was a happy moment when one of my students said that he was inspired by me. I am working hard so that someday, later in life, I can contribute to the next generation like Mr. David Brown and his colleagues did for the ME106 lab.

Browse a photo album about David's time at the Quantum Corporation, which he co-founded [pdf].