Scott Sandlin at the Research Information Systems Office.
Scott Sandlin at the Research Information Systems Office.

Scott Sandlin's inspiring journey brought him to the Engineering Technology (ET) world at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System. Having graduated in December 2021 with his Bachelor's in Engineering Technology, Sandlin now proudly serves as a data engineer at UAH, contributing his expertise to the university's research endeavors and data management systems.

Sandlin's connection with UAH goes back to his childhood, with his mom being an alumna and when he attended the university's hockey games during the late '90s. Life took him on various paths, but he eventually returned to UAH to pursue his academic aspirations. The ET program captured his interest, providing him with the perfect blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on application, resonating well with his background as an Engineering Technician.

Born and raised in Decatur, AL, Sandlin embarked on a career path that took him to various places across the country, working as an Engineering Technician for Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training, and Support. In this role, he supported developing and integrating training solutions for soldiers, traveling to Fort Irwin, CA, Fort Cavaros, TX, and Fort Johnson, LA, during the immediate years following 2001.

In 2007, as marriage and family became his primary focus, Sandlin reduced travel and transitioned to a position with Siemens Energy's Ceramics Coatings Test Lab in Orlando, FL. In this role, he specialized in conducting crucial environmental testing on ceramic coating samples used in power turbines.

Scott Sandlin

Scott Sandlin.

In 2009, Sandlin had the opportunity to return to Huntsville, and he joined UAH under the Vice President for Research. Over time, his responsibilities expanded to manage Government Property flowing through the university. Eventually, he assumed the role of a data engineer with Research Information Systems (RIS), where he now oversees several data programs and databases utilized by research administration groups at UAH.

Throughout his academic journey, Sandlin found invaluable guidance from Dr. Jennifer English in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, several instructors, and the Director of the ET program, Dr. Alisa Henrie, who became his mentor, providing unwavering support and guidance during the program's early stages. "She was shouldering the load of building the ET program and taught every class in those early stages," Sandlin recalls. "Our lengthy discussions during and after class helped improve the coursework and learning experience."

Reflecting on his favorite classes, he remembers the thrill of "Strength of Materials," where he dusted off long-forgotten force principles, and the "Instrumentation" class that required building a robot and understanding its electrical and mechanical components. "Working with sensors and implementing assembly language code was fun, and collaborating with classmates made the learning experience enjoyable," Sandlin adds.

For prospective students or those unfamiliar with the Engineering Technology program, Sandlin emphasizes its unique opportunities. With the ever-changing workplace landscape, adaptability is crucial, and ET provides the perfect foundation by constantly encouraging students to apply their knowledge in practical settings. He believes ET graduates hold immense value, often entering the workforce in technician roles with the potential to progress into engineering positions with experience and networking.

The Engineering Technology Program is a recent addition to the College of Science, a program that offers flexibility for working professionals with night classes and online options. Learn more about this program.