James Bowden will be attending Purdue University as a mechanical engineering major. Throughout high school, he fostered his passion for engineering through STEM-related extracurriculars and hobbies, such as Technology Student Association and stargazing. James also devoted his time to serving his community by volunteering in various service clubs, including Beta Club, Key Club, and National Honor Societies. During the summer before his freshman year, James interned at a BCCLT consulting engineering firm, where he learned the principles of mechanical and electrical engineering. While implementing electrical systems, HVAC, fire protection, and plumbing in buildings, he developed skills in using Revit and AutoCAD.
James's interest in research began with his environment-focused independent science projects on agricultural runoff, algae, compost, etc. he conducted each year through middle and high school, where he won the Water Environment Federation-Stockholm Junior Regional Water Prize and 3rd place in the regional science fair for microbiology. With these experiences, James hopes to shift engineering industries toward more sustainable practices by promoting eco-friendly design, optimizing energy-efficient machinery, reducing energy consumption and waste using advanced control systems, and encouraging using recycled and bio-based materials.