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York College Alumnus Puts Mechanical Engineering Degree to Work at FAA

Brian Levy on a lake.

Brian Levy ’20 is using his hands-on, real-world education to make the nation’s airways safer.

Radar systems act as the eyes in the skies for air traffic controllers, providing real-time data about the location, speed, and altitude of tens of thousands of aircraft each day. Without the precision and reliability of radar systems, the safety and efficiency of modern air travel would be severely compromised.

That’s where engineers such as York College of Pennsylvania graduate Brian Levy ’20 come in. As a member of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar team, Levy helps ensure that air traffic flows safely in skies that are teeming with airplanes.

Levy serves on a team that is implementing a new radar system across the country, coordinating, planning, and preparing for various tests before rolling the system out.

A path to engineering

Levy, who hails from Maryland, always had a knack for solving puzzles.

“I've always loved taking things apart, putting them back together,” he says. “Mechanical Engineering had everything I really liked: math, problem-solving, and working with my hands.”

Several factors influenced Levy's decision to enroll at York College. Despite taking a gap year after high school, he was able to receive the Presidential Scholarship that the College previously awarded him. He also found the intimate atmosphere of the College appealing.

“The low student-to-faculty ratio and a commendable Engineering program were big draws,” Levy says.

He recalls the camaraderie among Engineering majors and other students at York College. Because of the open-door culture of his first-year residence hall, he forged friendships that still hold strong. Through small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio, Levy says he received a personalized college experience that he wouldn’t have enjoyed at a large university.

Beyond the friendships and connections with students and faculty, Levy discovered significant value in the hands-on co-ops required for every Engineering major. Through his three internships at engineering companies in Pennsylvania and Maryland, he gained invaluable real-world experience and a plethora of skills.

Venturing into the world of the FAA

Levy landed the job at the FAA through a York College connection. His boss is also a York College alumnus, Brad Kenemuth ’03, and the College’s internship coordinator brought them together. Shortly after graduating, Levy was traveling from coast to coast, maintaining FAA radar systems. He later moved into project management in Washington, D.C.

While Levy prepared extensively for his career through his education and internships, the independence offered him in the workplace surprised him. He was handed the freedom to complete his job and was expected to do it well.

Through a solid work ethic and dedication, coupled with an openness to building relationships with faculty and fellow students and hands-on, real-world experience built into his education, Levy succeed at York College and is succeeding in the workplace.

“Everyone’s college experience is different,” he says. “Form your college experience to you. Just know what you’re looking for and pick what fits you. That’s what worked for me.”