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Macomb Community College student attends NASA scholars program

– Thursday, October 5, 2017 2:00PM

Macomb Community College student Tim Masters, 30, of Westland, reached for the stars, recently spending four days at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama as part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program. NCAS is a highly competitive national program that involves a five-week interactive online study program highlighted by a four-day experience at NASA. Masters was one of 304 community college students from across the U.S. who were chosen to participate.

A graduate of Macomb’s electric vehicle development technology certificate program, Masters is continuing his studies toward an associate degree in applied sciences and hopes to transfer to a university to complete a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering.

“I’ve always been fascinated by space travel. One of the first books I read was Space Shuttle Operator's Manual so when the opportunity to do anything with NASA came up, I jumped at it,” said Masters. “The online classes were challenging and covered a lot of information about NASA and the international space station. The 10-page research paper was especially difficult for me, but the communications professor I had at Macomb was very thorough, helped me refine my writing and prepared me for this challenge.”

The four day on-site event at Marshall Space Flight Center offered Masters and the other participating students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learned more about careers in science and engineering. While at NASA, students formed teams and established fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team was responsible developing a prototype, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget and developing communications and outreach.  The on-site experience also included tours of the NASA facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.

“One of our tasks was designing and building a small rover that could pick up a rock and deliver it to a specific location in a simulated Mars-like environment including programming the micro-controller that ran it all,” said Masters. “What I’ve learned about electric vehicle design and operation really came in handy.”

After completing his electric vehicle development technology certificate at Macomb, Masters went to work for a battery development company and is currently a high-voltage battery pack test technician at Ford working through supplier Aerotek.

“Macomb put me on a whole new and exciting career path,” said Masters. “It literally changed my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today or have had these opportunities without it.”

The electric vehicle development technology certificate program is a one-year, 28-credit program with studies in automotive, electronic technology, motors and controls and energy systems that train students to enter the emerging field as development, electrical test and manufacturing technicians. 

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 40,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.


Media Contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,