Jared is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has performed with the Mustang Mavericks and is involved with One28 and the Community Council. He has also served as a Residential Assistant for the Engineering Floor in Cockrell-McIntosh.
Exercise Commercial Hunter is a program run by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. The program is designed to bring in creative unconventional outsiders to anticipate new threats. The Commercial Hunter program would anticipate threats via opposing force exercises using teams of smart, young, web-savvy people, from diverse backgrounds. Who better to help with this effort than college engineering students?
The Innovation Gymnasium here at SMU is one of a kind. The philosophy of the SMU Skunk Works © moves beyond the usual organizational processes in universities to better understand how to provide rapid innovation. As a result we are able to build real world solutions to everyday problems.
The gym is run by Dr. Nathan Huntoon, and his job primarily consists of leading small student teams in design challenges and projects. Under his guidance students have been able to participate in several projects including the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Immersion Design Experiments, the Innovation Competition, and several research projects for the military.
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. Its largest current project is the F-35 Lightning II. The designation "skunk works", or "skunkworks", is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.
Here at SMU we took those same development ideals to create our own version of the Skunk Works © program. Our program involves small, focused groups of students (freshmen through graduate students) and faculty who work together under tight schedules to solve challenging real-world problems. The philosophy of the SMU SkunkWorks moves beyond the usual organizational processes in universities to better understand how to provide rapid innovation.
In recent years our students have created prototypes for a firefighting unmanned aerial vehicle conversion and an unmanned aerial vehicle for close air support. The best part about this program is that anyone can get involved. I personally helped design a UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) controlled by a laptop.
The Innovation Competition is also another big hit at the Innovation Gym. During the competition students submit proposals for different ideas. The top ideas then actually get created in the Innovation Gym. I was lucky enough to work on constructing a rowing machine that captured energy as you worked out on it. First place ended up going to Raven Sanders for creating a surround sound mixing device.
Lastly, we have projects which can last several months which students can get paid for. This past year we worked on a turret system meant to defend against pirates off of the coast of Somalia. Experiences like these are priceless. Not only is it a resume builder, but you also get to work in a creative, driven environment where you get to learn more than you would have ever expected.