By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications, Penn State Behrend
Penn State Behrend’s class of 2017 is ready to make its mark on the world! We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.
Today, we’d like you to meet Ryan Kelley:
Major: Computer Engineering
Minor: Game Development
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
On choosing Penn State Behrend: I chose Behrend because of its high-quality engineering facilities and attentive faculty and staff. The engineering equipment and labs at Behrend were impressive.
On choosing to major in Computer Engineering: When I was growing up, my father, who is a mechanical engineer, and I used to tinker with a random assortment of computer parts in our basement to build our own “Frankencomputers.” I learned how to program in HTML, C++, and Java in high school.
Scholarships/Awards: I received the Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship.
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: My proudest accomplishment so far has been my research work: Leveraging Web Technologies with PLC Interfacing.
Campus involvement: I have been involved in the Behrend Design Group, Triangle Fraternity, the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Game Development Club, and the Behrend Engineering Ambassadors.
Jack of all computer trades: I’m extremely adept at working with just about anything related to computers. I can make apps, design video games, develop hardware from start to finish, work on industrial applications, and more. If it has a circuit board and/or operates on computer code, I can figure it out.
What you’d be surprised to know about him: I’m a third-degree black belt and was a varsity lacrosse goalie for four years in high school. I can also speak German.
Beyond computers: I like to spend time outdoors. In my spare time, I enjoy biking and fishing. My favorite sport to watch is hockey, especially the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Failure is an option: When engineers are trying to solve a problem, they fail a lot. You get used to it and don’t get discouraged by it because it really is just part of the process. Learning what doesn’t work leads you to what does work.
Advice for first-year students: Hit the ground running (and studying) because classes are only going to get harder. If you start out with a work-oriented mindset and discipline, you’ll have an easier time in the later years than some of your peers.
After his graduation in May, Ryan plans to work as an embedded systems field engineer.