30 Under 30: Jesse Paschall
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Jesse Paschall won the 2011 SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship after graduating magna cum laude from East Grand Rapids High School. After starting college as a mechanical engineering student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, Jesse decided to transfer for his sophomore year at Grand Valley State University to be closer to his family in the Grand Rapids, MI, area.
During his first year in college, Jesse wrote a column in the May 2012 issue of Manufacturing Engineering’s “SME Speaks” section which detailed the lessons he learned as a first-year student in engineering.
A grandson of Marcus B. Crotts, FSME, CMfgE, PE, SME’s president in 2002, Jesse has a three-axis CNC router that he uses to build parts. As a high school student, Jesse used Autodesk Inventor to create 3D models of machines and mechanical components, including a diesel engine, steam locomotive valve gear, and a Peterbilt truck.
Working in manufacturing fascinated Jesse from the time he took his first drafting classes, and he’s still interested in building components, particularly those for diesel engines. When he moved to Michigan and first saw the drafting and technology classes at East Grand Rapids High, “that kind of just made my eyes light up. I was so excited about that,” Jesse recalled. “It was a four-year program for the drafting design and technology, and I started out a year behind, but I was just very, very natural, because this is what I’d been doing my entire life, just never really put a name to it.”
Jesse eventually moved up a year in the program to finish it on time and he won a scholarship through the school for his work on CAD designs of diesel engines and other automotive components.
Jesse currently still uses his CNC router for making parts, as well as having access to the manufacturing equipment at GVSU’s engineering building. He’s interested in a career in manufacturing for the automotive/transportation industry, and perhaps starting his own company in the future like his grandfather Marcus Crotts did with his engineering business, Crotts & Saunders Engineering based in Winston-Salem, NC.
“I kind of want to follow that, not necessarily take over that business but eventually start my own business kind of the same way he did. I’d really like to start a manufacturing company,” Jesse said. “I’ve always wanted to manufacture diesel engines, but the more I kind of learn about that, that it probably would not be very realistic in the near future—maybe diesel engine components—all I know is I want to have my own manufacturing business.”
Grad school also could be on the horizon for Jesse, and he hasn’t ruled out joining the military. “It’s something I always wanted to do since I could talk,” Jesse said of the military. “My grandfather was in the Air Force. My uncle was a career Marine pilot. And that’s always interested me. That’s not kind of set in stone or anything, it’s just one of those things I’d love to do, and you only get one chance to do it.” ME