(Dec 14, 2021) — Baron Wasden draws a straight line from his education at Kennesaw State University
to the new job he will start in January, after graduating this month with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems.
Wasden spent his final semester completing a capstone project leading the creation
of a 3D printing laboratory in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, and documenting the process so that others can follow the same roadmap to create
their own labs. The entire project’s cost was $350,000.
“I oversaw every detail,” Wasden said. “And a lot of it was making sure the documentation
for training throughout the rest of the University was complete and accurate, so that
other colleges could use that documentation to then create the same 3D printing lab
that we have in Coles College and then make minor adjustments and fit it to their
Wasden said his education at Kennesaw State, combined with training he received during
six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, prepared him well to manage development of the
3D printing lab.
That project was an accomplishment Wasden could point to in selling himself to potential
employers. Wasden said he presented his work on the project, along with its challenges
and hiccups, as part of his interview with Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software
company, and impressed managers there enough to land the job.
“They want to see how well you can handle those situations and see how well you can
communicate,” Wasden said.
The new lab in the business college is part of the University’s expansion of 3D printing
infrastructure across both its campuses. Wasden said more companies every day are
searching for candidates with 3D printing experience.
Standing in the finished lab, Wasden said he was proud of the accomplishment, one
that will make a difference for many students beyond his time at KSU.
“This is a legacy project,” he said. “This is an emerging technology that is being
sought after in basically any manufacturing company. Companies want to be able to
make parts for their equipment.”
Wasden’s work, especially in creating the guides for other colleges at KSU to create
their own 3D printing labs, will expedite the University’s goal of expanding infrastructure
and curriculum for the important emerging technology, according to Dominic Thomas,
associate professor of information systems.
“It’s a campus-transforming project, because what’s happened is for many years, KSU
has invested in 3D printing technologies. Many faculty want to be able to use tools
like this for teaching and learning and in curriculum and research,” Thomas said.
“What Baron brought to the table is a focus on, ‘What do we need to do to make this
really work? Who do I need to talk to or work with or bring in?’”
Thomas said Wasden was persistent throughout his undergraduate program and made sure
he and his colleagues in his various project groups were doing their best work.