Published: Wed Feb 1, 2012
Alexander J. Combs, a manufacturing and industrial technology major at Tennessee Tech University, has received a scholarship from a Cookeville firm that boasts nearly 20 percent of its staff as Tech alumni.
Automation Tool Company, or ATC Automation, designs and builds automated assembly and test systems for the medical, energy, consumer and automotive industries. The firm’s robotics division offers solutions for part transport, assembly, welding, painting and other process-intense operations.
TTU faculty and advisers nominated four students for the scholarship. After a thorough application and interview process, ATC chose Combs as the Spring 2012 recipient. Ethan Bernhardt, project manager at ATC, presented the scholarship to Combs.
Bernhardt said ATC awarded the scholarship to Combs because of his dedication to his education, excellent work ethic and future potential in the ever-changing job market.
Combs, of Winchester, Tenn., has been on the TTU Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters. He plans to graduate in December and pursue an engineering career.
Bernhardt can attest to the good fit between ATC and TTU. He is a TTU alumnus who joined ATC as a junior designer just after he graduated in 2000. For nearly two years, Bernhardt has served on the MIT department’s advisory board within the TTU College of Engineering.
“The hands-on MIT experience at Tennessee Tech, along with a minor in business, really prepared me for my current role as project manager,” said Bernhardt. “All of it was important in my professional development.”
In addition to having nearly 30 alumni on staff, ATC recruits TTU students at career fairs, offers co-op work opportunities, and awards the annual scholarship to an engineering student.