HandshakeLorenzo Smith, dean of Engineering and Computer Science at Sacramento State, right, joins DMEA director Ted Glum. (Photo courtesy of DMEA photographer Steve Gammon)

Sacramento State’s engineers are redefining the possible for Defense MicroElectronics Activity (DMEA) of McClellan. With the help of an Education Partnership Agreement signed in January between DMEA and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), students are receiving new opportunities both in and out of the classroom.

Sac State graduates also are reaping the benefits. Among DMEA’s hundred-plus engineers, Sacramento State alums hold 43 positions. Additional engineering opportunities at DMEA are expected in the next five years and EEE students are encouraged to apply.

“We give them as much opportunity as they can take,” says DMEA division chief Ted Schantz.

Schantz also is a firm believer in giving back through education. He has been a guest lecturer at Sac State, and other University alums who work at DMEA have returned to campus as instructors, boosting students’ exposure to career opportunities.

The Education Partnership Agreement supports Sacramento State’s EEE programs through equipment loans to the engineering laboratories, which are located in Riverside Hall. The agreement also includes DMEA internship opportunities for EEE students, providing them valuable work experience as they work toward a degree.

“The agreement opens the doors to doing DMEA-sponsored projects using DMEA equipment on our campus,” says Thomas Matthews, EEE department chair.

DMEA is the leading authority in microelectronics solutions for the Department of Defense (DOD). Its mission is to design advanced technology that provides DOD systems essential continuing support. Sac State graduate Ted Glum is DMEA’s director, and his father is a Sac State EEE professor emeritus.

Sac State’s EEE program offers hands-on courses that immerse students in concepts relevant to DMEA’s mission, including areas of control, microwave, and communication systems, as well as digital, analog, and mixed-signal integrated circuit design.

“At Sacramento State, I learned how things work. Now, I’m making them work,” says DMEA functional test engineer Kevin Hartmann, a 2016 graduate. “You’re given this toolbox at Sac State that you can use, and you walk away with the ability to adapt it.”

Other success stories include Tony Rodriguez and Alonso Camacho.

Rodriguez completed the DMEA internship program this year, graduating with highest honors. He was named 2016 Outstanding EEE Student.

Camacho began his career at DMEA as a college sophomore in June 2007, and is now the branch manager for one of its technical teams. He recalls the influence his professors had on him at Sacramento State. “I’d see them talking to students at all hours,” Camacho says. “They were well into helping you out through the problem.”

DMEA’s leadership team shares a similar attitude. And it shows.

“Upon my visit, I was so impressed with not just DMEA’s technologies in use, but also with their people,” says Lorenzo Smith, dean of Engineering and Computer Science. “They enjoy working with and mentoring our students as much as we do. This combination makes our partnership extra special.”

To apply for one of the four available DMEA internships, visit csus.edu/careercenter/index.html or call (916) 278-6231. The application deadline is July 8. – Jayla Lee