The largest group of engineering educators in the world has selected Kirk Barber, a School of Engineering and Technology student at IUPUI, as its intern of the year. Barber received a $500 cash award and a recognition plaque, and he attended the American Society for Engineering Education’s Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration in Mesa, Ariz.
Barber, who is expected to graduate in May with degrees in mechanical engineering and motorsports engineering, has completed three internships, including two consecutive summer internships at Allison Transmission Inc. in Indianapolis.
“Kirk is very capable and can achieve anything he sets out to do,” Bill Klenk, executive director of off highway and hybrid operations at Allison Transmission, wrote in a letter nominating Barber for the American Society for Engineering Education’s Intern of the Year Award. “He has an extremely high level of self-motivation and a strong desire for learning. Kirk is a very impressive student with his technical understanding. Allison Transmission has had good students in the past, but Kirk stands out among other interns.”
Barber’s record of accomplishments at IUPUI equals his success at Allison Transmission. As a School of Engineering and Technology student ambassador, Barber has represented the school and engaged prospective students in discussions regarding academics, resources and campus life. He serves as an outstanding role model of how to balance academics with extracurricular involvement, a school official said.
Kirk is a leader in motorsports engineering at IUPUI, excelling in coursework and demonstrating his passion for the field through his involvement in both the Motorsports Club and the IUPUI Formula SAE Club. In both capacities, he has held numerous leadership positions including crew chief and team captain for the school’s entry in the Purdue Grand Prix go-kart race.
He co-authored a technical paper published in the International Journal of Modern Engineering and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Students at IUPUI in 2011.
As he approaches graduation, Barber said he appreciates the impact internships have had on his college career. “First, internships have provided me with a valuable outlet to apply my education and also challenge me to perform in a professional engineering environment. Secondly, internships have brought more meaning to my education and have given me the drive to finish my degrees. My internships have shown me how bright the light at the end of the tunnel is.”