Engineers Week: ‘Computer engineers pave the way for the future’

Posted by Greg Edwards On February 22, 2024

Joshua Perkins is a junior at Missouri S&T. Photo courtesy of Perkins.

Joshua Perkins, a junior at Missouri S&T, has long been interested in having a career as a computer engineer.  

The reason why?  

“Computer engineers pave the way for the future,” he says. “Just think about all the different ways computer engineers make a difference with new technology. We play a role in almost everything, including embedded systems, circuits, software development, automation, robotics, powering advanced computing and multiple other areas.” 

That is at least Perkins’s more technical reason. The more straightforward inspiration, he says, is that he was interested in the circuits and coding lectures he had in high school and wanted to better understand how this technology functioned – even before he ever heard the phrase “computer engineer.”  

Perkins, of St. Louis, shared his insights about his field for part of a Missouri S&T article series focusing on the 2024 National Engineers Week theme, which is “Welcome to the Future.”  

He says computer engineers deserve a significant amount of credit for their roles in present technological innovations, and their work helps bridge the present with the future. 

Everything from space travel and autonomous vehicles to gaming consoles and medical devices requires computer engineering, he says. 

“That is the amazing thing about this field of study,” Perkins says. “It’s so broad that you can almost make whatever you want out of it and truly forge your own path.” 

Perkins is currently working as a student researcher with Dr. Sahra Sedigh Sarvestani, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and studying approaches to mitigate electromagnetic interference. In the future, he says he is also interested in further researching microcontrollers.  

He says the work is challenging, but one lesson he has learned at Missouri S&T is to develop a strong support system of friends and mentors who can cheer him on and help him be successful. This will be beneficial for his post-graduation plans as well, he says. 

Perkins is president of S&T’s Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, as well as the S&T E-Sports Club. He was previously involved with the Mars Rover Design Team, and he hopes to join the group again soon. 

“These outlets work well for me,” he says. “The brotherhood with my fraternity is incredible, and I also developed close bonds with e-sports and rover. Getting involved on campus — in whatever organizations you prefer — really sets you up well for the future.  

“I strongly encourage students to go out and take that leap of faith to get involved. This has helped me out so much, even for the limited time I’ve been more engaged. I wish I had this mentality much sooner.”