student outside SERC building

Engineering Technology student Jacob Erdlen has always applied himself, even as a child.

"Around 6th grade, my friends and I would take apart whatever we could and try and put it back together to see how stuff worked. Around high school in calculus I started to love math,"  Erdlen said. "I loved working through a problem and just feeling things clicking in my brain."

Often referred to as applied engineers, engineering technologists help to build, install, repair and improve high-tech equipment and technical facilities. That is also how Erdlen applied himself when he came to Temple, eventually securing an internship in telecommunications with an outside plant.

"I spent time with field technicians on installation jobs, with field engineers on survey jobs, and in a sales office," Erdlen said, reflecting on moving between roles. "I was able to make the internship my own."

His internship experience builds on the foundation from the engineering technology program, and also helped to inform some of his future planning. Erdlen is interested in pursuing an advanced degree in an engineering discipline, and also possibly work in research and development. That follows pursuits outside of engineering, including his involvement with the Newman Center, a religious fellowship group on campus, on volunteer and service projects.

"It's a great contrast to the right brain aspects of engineering that allows me to exercise my brain in that different way," Erdlen said, adding that the program has also allowed him to grow into other opportunities during his junior and senior years, including experience as a lab Teaching Assistant and working in a biomechanics lab. 

"This program helped me to take a wider breath of classes to better prepare myself for life after graduation," he said. "I also found that being an engineer has brought me a lot of joy, and I have Temple to thank for fostering that."

To learn more about the Engineering Technology program, visit