TSU Contributes to Making the World a Safer Place
Involved since 2003, Plockmeyer spent many restless nights in Iraq. However, despite the reports of violence and despair, he noted the overwhelming sense of hope from the Iraqi civilians. In July of 2004, the U.S. gave control of Plockmeyer’s system to the Iraqi government, ensuring the ongoing value of the system was transferable.
Todd Hack, CE ’04, is part of a project that is also bringing technology to Iraq. However, his technology will specifically aid the troops involved in combat.
Hack recently returned from Iraq after testing technology for his employer, General Dynamics of Fort Wayne, Ind. Hack is in charge of writing and testing a satellite and computer controlled device that tracks soldiers and alerts other troops to where they are located.
The technology provides a view of where all units (friendly or enemy) are moving in an area. Encrypted messages also allow troops from different units to communicate. Currently, 500 systems are being tested, and Hack spent seven weeks testing the new device, living with the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army.
Hack told the Herald Republican newspaper in Angola that he enjoyed his stay, that it was “like camping,” noting the camaraderie between the solders. His company continues to thrive with war contracts for advanced technology.
Though Hack’s role is one of testing and updating technology, one TSU student decided to submerge himself in the actual war. Quentin Greiner, a junior civil engineering major from Dansville, Mich., took the last year and a half off from his studies to serve his country in the Michigan Air National Guard. After attending boot camp in Biloxi, Miss., Greiner attended specialized schools and then prepared for deployment to Iraq. For the past six months, his unit has been deployed to Iraq where Greiner has been doing engineering/construction work involving a dozen different projects. His primary position was a carpenter. This fall semester Greiner came back to TSU to continue his studies.
“Being in Iraq made me appreciate being home. I realized I took for granted being able to do things that I enjoy, like going to movies or swimming,” said Greiner, a member of Delta ChiFraternity and a student named to the President’s List every semester. “It was an interesting experience. Being over there is like nothing back in the states. It’s hard to even find a comparison. The weather is completely different, and the whole ambiance of being over there is hard to explain. In a way, I’m glad that I went over there for the experience that I gained, but I hope that I’ll not have to return any time soon.”
Greiner says because of his experiencein Iraq he plans on taking a timber design class at TSU to help in future projects. He aspires to be a structural engineer after graduation.
As the war in Iraq continues, more reconstruction and assistance will be needed. From those designing technologyto those doing the everyday tasks of a soldier, TSU continues to play a role in making the world a safer place by educatingor employing those willing to serve their country and support the freedoms that our society holds so dear.
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