Visiting lecturer helps students learn engineering

Tristan Allen, Reporter

Students with an interest in engineering had the opportunity to hear Dan Eekhoff, engineer speak at the PCA lecture on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Eekhoff works for Burns & McDonnell. Before that, he worked with several other companies and even developed the Marine Armor Kit (MAK) installation instructions for full armor upgrades of all High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) that were on the frontline in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Throughout the lecture, Eekhoff had some good advice for career-planning individuals. “You don’t have to be the smartest kid in the class. If you like something, do it,” Eekhoff said.

Another piece of advice Eekhoff provided was to be “proactive. Surround yourself with smart people, and work as a team.”

Students that attended the lecture got to see and hold bulletproof glass used on HMMWVs. In addition to that, a few lucky students got free t-shirts.

Eekhoff went to college at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and got a summer internship at CivCo Medical Solutions, where he worked with cancer treatment equipment. Notable projects he helped with throughout his career spanning two decades include the expansion of the Virginia Tech Football, the Richmond Convention Center, some work with the Woodrow Wilson Bridge between Maryland and Virginia, and in addition to the MAK installation instructions for HMMWVs, he has analyzed costs for a potential relay satellite at Wyle Laboratories, where he received top secret security clearance.

At one point, Eekhoff worked for MRIGlobal, where he developed mobile laboratories. During his time there, he self-started Plain Technologies, which had the focus of working on technology that could be applied to sports such as soccer or football.

Currently at Burns & McDonnell, he is working on a project at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) which involves rerouting fuel lines which are in the way of new runways. He described this as one of his hardest jobs yet.

“See if you can take classes that have exposure to what engineering courses are going to be,” Eekhoff said about what high school students can do to prepare to be engineers.