Impact Award, Fall 2019
David Branson Jr.
David Branson Jr. decided to go back to school when he learned Arizona State University offered engineering degrees delivered online.
“That day, I did my research and, with the support of my wife, chose to go back to school after a 13-year break,” Branson says.
Throughout a 14-year career in manufacturing, Branson developed a passion for data-driven process improvements. A degree in engineering management delivered online from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering gave him the opportunity to gain “a firm basis in operational excellence to propel me into management down the road.”
It was rewarding for Branson to finalize an objective he had tabled for over a decade.
“Completing my degree and having it hang on my wall has been a personal goal since I dropped out of college after my freshman year,” says Branson, who was consistently on the dean’s list during his studies.
Doing coursework with two young children at home was a challenge, but with the support of his wife, Cherrish, he accomplished his goal.
Principal Lecturer Linda Chattin was particularly instrumental in his success as a student.
“She was able to impart a passion for probability and statistics when I was quite fearful of the concepts,” Branson says. “The curiosity she sparked in me tremendously aided me in other courses as well.”
Branson carried this influence forward by becoming a teaching assistant in IEE 380, a probability and statistics course for engineering problem-solving.
“During that time, I have helped lead students through the coursework and concepts that will carry them into the rest of their engineering studies,” he says.
Branson puts his skills to the test outside of ASU as a shop foreman leading a group of 16 associates in a production environment at Eaton Corporation.
He thinks of engineering as a way to solve big problems. Branson says if he had millions of dollars in research grants to solve any issue on the planet, he would research the best means of segregating water infrastructure to enable grey water waste to be processed differently than black water waste to promote more sustainable water usage.
“The reduction in processing steps of grey water will save enumerable resources over the long haul and enable a safer, more efficient water usage alternative.”