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Statler College students accept internships at Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Innovation Hub Students

(Pictured left to right) Dre’ Hodges, Clifton McKenzie and Logan Forquer will begin their internships at Sturm, Ruger & Co. this summer.

Three engineering students at West Virginia University have received valuable internship opportunities with one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of rugged, reliable firearms, Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Story by Adrianne Uphold, Graduate Assistant
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—

Clifton McKenzie, Dre’ Hodges and Logan Forquer, all students in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will begin working at Sturm, Ruger & Co. this summer. During the internship, the students will be focusing on the refinement of the manufacturing process for their products and in product design.

Over the past year, McKenzie, Hodges, and Forquer have received extensive work experience as students’ workers in the Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH), a full-scale prototyping center in the Statler College that houses state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. At the EIH, the students have played a critical role in various projects such as 3D printing, creating parts for the WVU robotics team or Formula One and multiple research projects for graduate students and faculty members alike across the University.

Kelsey Crawford, the EIH shop manager, said these students have been involved in almost all of the projects they have completed to date.

“I believe that this internship speaks volumes about the skills that they are being taught while working in the Engineering Innovation Hub,” Crawford said. “This internship will challenge these students in their knowledge of engineering and manufacturing techniques. This is a monumental benefit to these three students’ résumés in furthering their careers in the engineering field.”

A native from Morgantown, West Virginia, McKenzie is a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major.

“Through most of my time working for both the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Engineering Innovation Hub, I have learned a lot about manufacturing methods and processes that will be relevant to our work this summer,” McKenzie said. “With the knowledge of manufacturing we will be really well versed in how things can be designed to be manufactured, as we often have to deal with helping students and professors to refine their designs before they are able to be made here at the Engineering Innovation Hub.”

During his search for a summer internship, McKenzie applied to over 100 jobs across the country.

“Sturm, Ruger & Co. was the first job offer I accepted and after my interview with them they suggested that my coworkers apply as well, and now the three of us will get to spend the summer in New Hampshire working for Ruger in a field we are all interested and engaged in,” McKenzie said. 

After graduation, McKenzie plans to attend graduate school studying mechanical engineering.

Hodges, from Fairmont, West Virginia, is currently a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major.

“I can recall back to when I was three years old sitting on top of my dad’s shoulders at a Mountaineer football game, and after seeing my older cousins come up from Atlanta, Georgia to attend and graduate from WVU. I was just waiting on my turn,” Hodges said.

Hodges favorite thing about working for the EIH is the variety of projects he can work on. 

“The beauty of working at the Engineering Innovation Hub is the variety of projects we get to make parts for,” Hodges said. “Whether its personal stuff like student’s 3D printing chess sets, or the usual grand team projects like Robotics, Formula One, Baja, or professional research projects for the WVU Health Sciences Center and others. I honestly don’t know what I’m making until I clock into work, and that’s what makes it cool coming into workday in and day out.”

After graduation, Hodges plans to start a master’s program in mechanical engineering.

Forquer grew up twenty minutes outside of Morgantown in Blackville, West Virginia. He is junior pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. 

“I truly believe that if it was not for the Engineering Innovation Hub, there was a slim chance of getting the internship that I did,” Forquer said. “The things I have learned in the Engineering Innovation Hub gave me the set of skills that Ruger was looking for in their interns.”

After graduation, Forquer hopes to find to find a job similar to what he is doing in the EIH, where he can be working on different projects on any given day.

“I grew up around WVU and I’ve had a few family members including my brother who have attended WVU, so, I’ve followed in their footsteps — I guess you could say we have gold and blue in our blood,” Forquer said. 


-WVU-

au/05/18/21

Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Email: EngineeringWV@mail.wvu.edu
Phone: 304-293-4135