From Student to Staff: Mark Dwyer

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Mark Dwyer 

Mark Dwyer is a staff member, and a graduate student. He grew up in Hampden, Maine. After high school, Mark followed a traditional path to becoming an engineer and enrolled in the chemical engineering curriculum at the University of Maine. However, after a short time, he realized that chemical engineering wasn’t a good fit and decided to leave school and to pursue real world experience. He worked as a carpenter, a pipe welder, and a night janitor. Time in these fields gave him perspective, experience and hands on skills he would eventually use to, completely and meticulously, renovate his own home. Eventually, Mark realized that in order to have the career he wanted he would need to return to school. After researching all of the possible options, he decided that a Civil Engineering degree would best cover all the areas he was most interested in. In the fall of 2011, he once again enrolled at the University of Maine.

Mark was familiar with the Advanced Structures and Composites Center from articles he read in the newspaper, and was impressed with the Center’s research. It seemed like a good fit for his skills, so he toured the facility, submitted his resume, and by his second semester, was working as an undergraduate employee.  Mark was recognized as the student employee of the year for UMaine and statewide for the year of 2013-2014. This award reflected his exceptional performance on two sets of engineering drawings. In 2012-2013, Mark led production of a set of engineering drawings that detailed the construction and assembly sequence of VolturnUS 1:8, the first grid-connected floating wind turbine in the Americas. In 2013-2014, Mark led the production of another set of engineering drawings for a full-scale VolturnUS. Though he was an undergraduate student at the time, he admirably handled work usually reserved for full-time staff, earning the respect of UMaine Composites Center staff and students.

In May 2014, Mark graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and is now a full time research engineer. He is also enrolled in a Master’s program for Civil Engineering. Mark is currently investigating how steel hull designs for floating wind turbines compare to concrete hulls. Mark lives in Bangor, ME with his wife and son.

Transcribed from an interview with Mark Dwyer