Mr. John Kirk
Instructor of Engineering
Mr. John Kirk has a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and a Master's in Engineering Management from Washington University in St. Louis. He began teaching at NCSSM in 2007, and worked in Student Life prior to teaching. Mr. Kirk has developed and taught multiple engineering courses, including Electrical Engineering, Architecture, Circuits, Engineering the Modern, History of Engineering and Technology, and Engineering Graphics.
We sat down with Mr. Kirk to talk with him about the many hats he has worn at NCSSM and about his love for art, architecture and travel.
How did Mr. Kirk first become interested in Engineering?
Mr. Kirk entered into college undecided on his area of interest but he knew he was interested in science. He took a lot of Chemistry and Physics classes, before deciding that Engineering was the best of both worlds because he could do what he loved and get a job after college. He found that he liked the electrical side of physics the most so he majored in Electrical Engineering.
Where did Mr. Kirk attend undergraduate/graduate school and how did she decide what to major in and focus on?
Mr. Kirk was originally from Winchester, Kentucky, a small town on 14,000 people, and he attended the University of Kentucky for undergrad and obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering. After undergrad, he worked at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) in St. Louis, Missouri as an electrical engineer. McDonnell Douglas paid for him to go to Graduate School at Washington University where he obtained a degree in Engineering Management.
What did Mr. Kirk do before coming to NCSSM?
Before NCSSM, he worked as an engineer and project manager at Boeing in St. Louis. Mr. Kirk was interested in the computer side of electrical engineering so he worked with logic design, microprocessors, and digital design. He was also interested in optoelectronics and worked on projects related to fiber optic communications.
Why did Mr. Kirk decide to work at a High School?
After Mr. Kirk took a buyout from Boeing, he decided to come to NC and try something new. He took a temp job at NCSSM working in student life for several years, and then became the 2nd person hired to work in the new engineering program in 2007. He then worked as a half time engineering instructor and a half time mentorship instructor before transitioning to work in the NCSSM engineering department full-time.
What is Mr. Kirk's favorite thing about NCSSM?
Mr. Kirk loves the energy the students bring to the school. He is emphatic that teachers should like the students that they teach.
What is Mr. Kirk's favorite thing about the NCSSM Engineering and Computer Science Department?
Mr. Kirk loves the opportunity we give students to take college-level courses and help students learn what they really want to do. He believes that we give students an opportunity that no other school in the country can give.
What does Mr. Kirk do after hours?
Mr. Kirk is quite the "Renaissance Engineer" and has interests in art, architecture, music, theater, cooking, gardening, and writing and travel. Mr. Kirk's love for writing extends as far back as his McDonnell Douglas days were he started an engineering newsletter. At NCSSM, Mr. Kirk has been the adviser for the student newspaper, The Stentorian, since 2004.
Mr. Kirk is an avid traveler and has traveled all over Western Europe to visit art museums. Mr. Kirk has led multiple Mini Term trips to Berlin and France to study architecture. He has also traveled extensively across the United States.
If Mr. Kirk could give NCSSM students one piece of advice, what would it be?
1. Get some sleep!
2. Get some sleep!
3. Cherish your time here and experience life outside of class.