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Industrial engineer lands sweet deal with DoD

Junior Adam Rubemeyer will work for the Department of Defense after graduation as part of his SMART Scholarship.

To many, a guaranteed job after graduation could sound like a pipe dream. Add undergraduate tuition paid in full right up to graduation day, and people might just laugh. But for junior industrial and manufacturing systems major Adam Rubemeyer, this scenario became reality for the price of a 14-page application and a couple interviews.

Rubemeyer was among 100 students selected out of 3,300 to receive the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship by the Department of Defense (DoD). The award stipulates that upon acceptance, a winner must agree to complete the remainder of his or her studies, which will be paid for. A winner must also accept a stipend to eliminate the possibility that a part-time job could interfere with said studies. Then, after graduation, a winner must work for the DoD for a time equal to the number of years of school the DoD funded, with a maximum of five years.

For free tuition and a guaranteed, nay, a required job after graduation, why isn’t every undergraduate in the country applying?

“It’s kind of a daunting application process,” Rubemeyer said. “I didn’t even know all the benefits involved, but paying for school was enough motivation for me.”

Rubemeyer is an undergraduate research assistant working on a CELDi (MU Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution) project with Boeing, developing models to reduce energy usage in the supply chain. He used this research as part of his application, which was sent to military bases around the country. In addition to phone interviews, Rubemeyer was fingerprinted for security clearance before he was matched with the research and analysis division at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Rubemeyer’s research for Boeing strives to design the logistics supply chain within Boeing in order to decrease the energy the company uses. Jim Noble, Professor of IMSE, Adam’s research advisor noted, “I am extremely proud and excited for Adam. Adam is an excellent student and researcher who continues to impress everybody that he meets.

“The SMART scholarship is a great way for top talent to get involved in future DoD work,” he added.

Rubemeyer said he thought Ft. Leavenworth was interested in his work because of its relevance to the military. “It’s about figuring out how to stay on top of everything,” he said.

Rubemeyer will graduate in December 2011 as part of the dual Master of Science in Industrial Engineering/Master of Business Administration (MSIE/MBA) program.

He’ll finish his research with Boeing at the same time, and hopes to work in a large mobility simulation program in his required year and a half at Fort Leavenworth.

“The guaranteed job is a huge stressor out of the way,” Rubemeyer said. “But also, this is work that could potentially be extremely meaningful, something you could feel proud of. If you do good work it could really pay off.”

Rubemeyer said he hopes his success will motivate other students to apply for the DoD SMART scholarship.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” he said. “It’s great experience even if you don’t love what you’re doing. Since you’re only there for a couple of years, then you can go out and do anything else you want.

“I think if more people knew what it entailed in the end, more people would apply,” he said. “It would be nice if others took advantage of it in the future.”