P.J. Abbott, a 2008 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, has found ways to apply his Associate of Applied Science degree in Design Technology both at home and at work.

After working at General Electric for more than 15 years, Abbott was laid off when the local plant relocated to Mexico. He faced limited options for employment. “The retraining programs provided by the State were very particular and limited in assistance,” Abbot said. “Getting a four year degree wasn’t an option, so that left technical schools or an associate program of some type.”

Abbott enrolled at Ivy Tech Bloomington and began working toward his degree in design technology. “One of the benefits of attending Ivy Tech was the smaller class sizes,” he said. “It allowed for more one on one communication with the instructors. There is a greater sense of accountability in a smaller class, as opposed to a larger school.”

Abbott began working at Cook Pharmica, before graduation, in 2007 as a computer aided design drafter (CADD) and has since been promoted to the position of engineering coordinator. “I was and still am impressed with the level of education I received at Ivy Tech,” he said. “On a daily basis, I interact and collaborate with four-year degreed engineers and other professionals.”

As an outdoor enthusiast, Abbott decided to put his technical knowledge to use outside of work and build a 4 foot, 6 inch by 11 foot trailer camper for himself and his fiancée. “I’ve always been an ‘outside the box’ type of thinker,” he said.

Abbott says that he has the vision to create things he sees in his mind, and that his engineering degree and time at Ivy Tech provided the technical skills and information to keep the necessary physical constraints “in the box.”

“I used a lot of math and geometry in the design and shape of the coach,” he said. “There were a lot of things that came back to me like strength of materials, balancing, load limits, bending moments, material choices, design intent, and production and fabricating techniques. My CADD skills were extremely handy in the design process,” Abbott said.

For more information about enrolling in Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Design Technology program, contact Vanessa Babcock at 812-330-6319 or vbabcock2@ivytech.edu.



About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.