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Alumni who inspire: Conlan Grossman

Graphic illustration on light blue background with topography lines and gold slash behind cutout portrait image of Conlan Grossman. Text on left reads "Alumni Who Inspire: Conlan Grossman"

The Alumni Who Inspire! Program in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources recognizes alumni for their dedication to their professions, our college and West Virginia University. The program was launched in Fall 2023 as a monthly discussion board with alumni of the College.

Q&A conversation with Conlan Grossman

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


“By sharing their experiences, our alumni offer practical advice and insights to support our students to become successful engineers. Our alumni stories are extremely valuable in contributing to building and sustaining our Statler community” said Cerasela Zoica Dinu, associate dean for student, faculty and staff engagement and coordinator of the program.

For the month of June, we are excited to feature Conlan Grossman, Industrial Software Business Development Manager at Equipment and Controls Inc.

Since graduating from WVU in 2018, Conlan worked at Equipment and Controls Inc (ECI) – an Emerson Impact Partner, aimed to develop solutions to assist entities throughout the lifecycle of critical automation and process control assets to thus generate successful business outcomes. He supported the institution’s mission in a variety of roles aimed to maintain a tailored and comprehensive portfolio of solutions for local industries. He is now in a new role as the Industrial Software Business Development Manager, which focuses on improving plant performance using software and AI without additional personnel or equipment.

Q: Conlan, you are from Pennsylvania. Was WVU always your top choice?  

Funny enough, I actually didn’t want to go to college at all. College required student loans, and I didn’t want to have any debt hanging over my head. But my dad convinced me I had to try at least 1 year, so we made a list of schools, and chose a major – Mechanical Engineering. I chose this because I knew that Mechanical Engineering had a ton of overlap with other majors and professional areas (chemical, civil, electrical, industrial) and this would provide me with solid future job security.

My top 5 schools rounded out to be Pitt, Wisconsin, Ohio U, Penn State and WVU (in that order believe it or not). My grandpa played baseball and basketball at Pitt and is in their athletics hall of fame, so couple that with growing up 40 minutes from campus in Beaver, PA made it seem like a no brainer. Come junior year of high school I completed all my college visits, and Morgantown spoke to me like no other. The campus and facilities were beautiful, you could feel the history there. Most importantly, all the staff and faculty, from student volunteers to professors, were friendly and welcoming. The day I got my acceptance letter from WVU, I signed it. I cancelled all my other applications.

Q: What academic interests did you pursue while at WVU and the Statler College?

Coming to campus, my main goal was to get involved with as much as humanly possible, and to make the most of my time there. From an academic standpoint, this included ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and the social sciences/history as I am a huge fan of studying the past and people. Any time I could squeeze a history or philosophy course in for a semester and receive required elective credits, I did so (who doesn’t love ancient Rome?). I also explored other engineering majors several times and changed my engineering discipline twice in the first 2 years (industrial and mining) to experience what else was out there.

Outside of the classroom, I played on the club basketball team and served as president, was a member of the club boxing team, and participated in a few social societies.

Q: What motivated you as a student at WVU?

I was most motivated by the fear of failure, and the desire for success while in school. I was well aware of the financial investment I had made, and on top of that, I had never embarked on such a long and difficult journey before. I not only wanted to get a degree but perform to the highest level possible in doing so, to set myself up for future success.

The thing that inspired me most were my Junior and Senior year classmates. To Josh, Josh, Kate, Nick, Ashley, Justin and Marisa (if you see this thank you!) – I needed motivation and collaboration with others for those countless hours at night and on weekends studying and finishing out those group projects, homework, etc. I remember meeting at the library at 6 AM on a Saturday for a group project, going to the basketball game and going back to the library to finish our final project.

 Q: Every professional faces career challenges. Could you share with us your top challenge and, based on your self-awareness, emphasize the strategies you used to overcome it?

My greatest challenge in my professional career has been adapting to the workplace and dealing with imposter syndrome. Heading into a career is like the first day of freshman year – you’re starting all over again, back at the bottom of the totem pole. You may have to put in some of those classic college-like late night hours to get up to speed – but don’t be afraid to ask questions and push through it, your team will help get you there!

Q: If you were to do it all over again, what are the 3 top tips that you would give your younger self?

The top 3 tips I would provide to a current student are as follows below. Everything I list here is something I learned the hard way that I should have done!

1. Set a schedule AND stick to it. Wake up at the same time, do homework at the same time, go home at the same time, etc. The more disciplined and consistent you are with your time, the less energy you will spend scrambling to get things done and cramming for the end of the semester.

2. Make connections. Find other people in your major and stick with them. These will be your future project teammates, study buddies, etc. Do the same with your professors, TAs, and alumni at career fairs. All these people can help you later in life; the Mountaineer network takes care of its own.

3. Make time for yourself and enjoy the experience. Your education is your number one priority, no doubt about it. That being said: if you aren’t mentally, emotionally and spiritually well, there’s a good chance that will leak into your studies. In your schedule, find time for something you love (for me, it was playing basketball) – and make sure you commit to doing that thing weekly.

Statler College is proud to have alumni like Conlan to share their journey and wisdom and to represent the Mountaineer community.



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:

Phone: 304-293-4135