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Manufacturing engineering student takes pride in program

Ana Ordonez Antunez is paving the way for future manufacturing engineering students as one of the students in the first graduating class, which will walk in 2019, for the major at Georgia Southern.

The Honduran native was drawn to the University for its programs and the major for its practice in different sciences and design and development of machines, tools and equipment. The hands-on approach really appealed to her.

“Georgia Southern sent a representative to my high school at Tegucigalpa to give a presentation about the University, and the engineering program caught my attention,” she said. “What really got me interested with manufacturing is that it practices different sciences including design and development of machines, tools and equipment. It is a hands-on program that requires critical thinking skills.”

Manufacturing engineering, a rapidly growing field in the U.S., involves working in tandem with mechanical and electrical engineers to design products and ensure their manufacturability — everything from quality assurance to automation and information technology integration. Mechanical engineers are the driving force behind a growing industry of production, and students like Antunez are taking advantage of the training at Georgia Southern.

“My dream is to work for a big company,” said Antunez. “It’s not an easy major…My main goal is to learn as much as I can about manufacturing engineering to not only improve my life and build a career, but also to innovate with new, modern technology.”

Antunez takes her studies serious in and out of the classroom. This year she will act as the secretary for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a title she is honored to have. She credits many of her professors for having helped her along the way.

“I’ve had a lot of faculty members who have helped me grow and develop engineering skills,” she said.” “Mainly, Dr. Chang and Dr. Gong have inspired and motivated me because they have given me an insight of what a manufacturing engineer does and all of its applications. They are smart, professional professors who I see as role models.”

Her relationship with these role models is definitely a two-way street.

“As her professor, I have had an opportunity to observe her participation and evaluate her knowledge of the subject matter through class assignments and tests,” said Assistant Professor Haijun Gong, Ph.D. “She is an outstanding student in all respects…Ana has proven that through hard work, follow through and team work, she can accomplish tasks in a courteous and timely manner.”

“The biggest challenge is that since my class is going to be the first to graduate in this program, Georgia Southern is building a reputation from us, so I feel like [manufacturing engineering students] have the obligation to be the best because we represent Georgia Southern and the whole manufacturing program,” she said.

For more information about the manufacturing engineering program, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 119 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


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