URI student to start computer engineering career in Germany

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Johnston resident to graduate with engineering, German degrees May 18

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 6, 2008 – Johnston resident Joey Micheli describes himself as “the kid on the block who loved computers and helped all my neighbors with their computer problems.” Those experiences drove him to study computer engineering at the University of Rhode Island, from which he will graduate on May 18.

His URI experience also allowed him to indulge his passion for international culture, which has already led to a job offer from a global company based in Germany.

“When I came to URI I knew that I wanted to learn a different language and study abroad,” Micheli said, “because I really like to learn about different cultures and want to share ideas around the world.”

So he enrolled in URI’s International Engineering Program, studied the German language, and spent the 2005-06 school year studying and working in Germany.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I got to drive on the autobahn every day, I traveled every other weekend to Egypt, to London and Ireland, to Italy, Switzerland and Austria. One of my favorite places was Greece, which had nice weather, a nice coastline, good people and good food.”

While in Germany, he studied for six months at the Technical University of Braunschweig and worked for six months at MTU, an engineering firm that services airplane engines. He served as a repair engineer and designed an Internet catalog for the sales department to make it easier to provide quotes for the cost of various repairs.

“The company even gave me a Mercedes to drive for six months!” Micheli said.

Back in Rhode Island, he worked on a school project at Astro Med in West Warwick to design a sensor for a computer printer to detect line breaks in a labeling machine, and currently works as a web developer for the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, where he handles the design, maintenance and development of new online applications for various loan products.

“It was a phenomenal learning experience working at the Student Loan Authority,” he said. “I could not have asked for a better position with some of the finest people in the state.”

As graduation approaches, Micheli expressed great appreciation for the guidance and support his family provided throughout his college career. “Whether they helped me with finances or mental support, they were always there for me,” he said.

He is looking forward to starting work as a software engineer in the transportation systems division of Siemens in Germany, the headquarters of the global electronics and electrical engineering firm.

“Siemens has developed their own computer programming language, which I’m going to have to learn from scratch, but the job has lots of room for advancement, so I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to earning some Euros in a time when the dollar is so weak.”

Micheli said that Germany is a great place to start a career as an engineer, given that it is the third largest economy in the world and its companies engineer high-tech products that are exported around the world.

Eventually, though, the URI student hopes to start his own restaurant.

“I love to cook, and I’d love to start my own business,” he explained. “Maybe I’ll start my first restaurant in Germany and call it Rhode Island. It will allow me to introduce a little something of the Rhode Island culture to Germany.”

URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.