Young alumni spotlight: Alex Stone
Please join the Young Alumni Advisory Board (YAAB) at its Homecoming event, Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6-8 p.m. at Raleigh Times. For more information about the event, go to go.ncsu.edu/homecoming.
For more information about the YAAB, please contact Erica A. Fuller, assistant director of development for the NC State Engineering Foundation, Inc. at 919.515.9958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Graduation Year: 2015, Valedictorian
Degree: B.S., Mechanical Engineering
Current Job Title: Mechanical Engineer, Hipp Engineering & Consulting, Inc.
Young Alumni Advisory Board: College Relations Committee
Alex Stone grew up with NC State in his blood. “My grandfather, a College alumnus, uncle, and mom all attended State. My wife is an NC State alumna, my father-in-law a College alumnus, and my brother-in-law a current student. I was born in Raleigh and rooted for the Wolfpack my whole life.” When it came time to decide on a university, Stone applied early to NC State and decided to only apply to NC State. “I was ‘one and done’ when it comes to college applications. I loved the campus and its proximity to the heart of Raleigh, and let’s be honest, the State Fair.”
Post graduation, Stone is a mechanical engineer with Hipp Engineering & Consulting, Inc. — an engineering consulting firm in Raleigh specializing in the design of manufacturing facilities in the life sciences sector. According to Stone, there are no typical days for him in the consulting engineering business. “There are days spent at different pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities doing field work, days spent doing calculations and selecting equipment for various projects and days spent drafting in AutoCAD (2D) or Revit (3D). It’s a great mix of being in an office and getting out in the field. There is no such thing as a boring day at work.”
One of the things Stone finds interesting about his job is seeing the different facilities that manufacture various medicines and learning the different processes used for each. For example, the process used to manufacture acetaminophen is vastly different than the process for manufacturing insulin — meaning each requires its own highly specialized facility. “Being an engineering consultant, I have the opportunity to interface with many different clients and learn many different manufacturing processes. I have the opportunity to see a lot of cool things at a bunch of different facilities — some even being a few million square feet in size. Every day is a learning opportunity.”
Thinking back on his time as an engineering student, he shares that the most important thing he learned was time management. In college, he says, there are many things that always need to be done for classes and clubs, with it still being important to maintain an appropriate school-life balance. “It takes effective time management to organize, prioritize and complete all tasks at hand,” said Stone. “The same can be said in the consulting business — there are always multiple projects that must progress simultaneously. Being proficient with time management is key to finishing projects on time, on budget and with your work-life balance still in check.”
He is grateful for all that he learned at NC State and for the engineering degree that was instrumental in providing him with the tools needed to propel him into a career that is both challenging and fulfilling. “During school, I learned how to think critically, solve problems and work collaboratively to accomplish bigger goals than are possible for any single individual. These skills have proved to be crucial in the short time I’ve been out of school, both from a personal and professional standpoint.”