Naturally Mechanical Shane Lowney Hones Skills at Florida Institute of Technology

Shane Lowney of Tampa, Florida in the United States is a native son.  Born and raised in Tampa, Lowney is a true Son of the South, loyal to his native city and anxious to give back to the community which has warmed his body and life for all 34 years of it.  Lowney loves flying, with a pilot’s license to operate his Cessna 182, and rock climbing and divining the mysteries of a working engine, which gave rise to Lowney leaving Tampa for the only time in his life, to attend the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Upon completion, Lowney returned to Tampa to pursue his career, with a new wife in tow, Christine. Together they enjoy the beauty of Tampa today.

Shane Lowney’s decision to enter Florida Tech was a natural progression of the insight and understanding of mathematics and science which he had displayed throughout his formative years in Tampa.  Lowney entered an institution with a more recent history than most, firmly grounded in the study of mathematics, sciences and technology.  The Florida Institute of Technology was founded as Brevard Engineering College in Melbourne, Florida in the United States in 1958, and by 1966 had changed its name.   The Florida Institute of Technology is a private research institution which caters to elite engineering and scientific minds.  The combined verbal and math SAT scores of the incoming freshmen in 2014 was 1131.  At one point, the majority of employees of the NOAA were graduates of the Florida Institute of Technology.  Today, over half of the student body is enrolled in its College of Engineering.

Only 75 miles from Cape Canaveral, the original site of the United States Space Program, the Florida Institute of Technology which Shane Lowney attended to cement his future profession as a mechanical engineer, has a symbiotic relationship with the Space Coast upon which it resides.  FIT has named each of its new residence halls completed in 2003 after one of the seven fallen astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.  The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at the Melbourne International Airport began in 2008.  2009 witnessed the founding of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research at the Melbourne International Airport, the Scott Center for Autism Treatment, the Harris Center for Science and Engineering and the Harris Institute for Information Assurance.  FIT’s Jensen Beach Campus, the School of Marine and Environmental Technology, was located on the Indian River Lagoon in Jensen Beach, and at one time a majority of its students went to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Shane Lowney Still Views Remnants of Early Tampa Today

Unknown to residents like Shane Lowney today, Tampa, Florida in the United States suffered from periodic yellow fever epidemics which drove more and more residents away in the 1800’s, resulting in the abolition of the Tampa government in 1869.  The discovery of phosphate deposits nearby in the mid 1880’s, a mineral which is used in fertilizers, encouraged the economic fortunes of Tampa, which continues to be a major source of phosphate.  The arrival of the railroad corresponded with the founding of Ybor City by Martinez Ybor, who moved his cigar manufacture from Key West to Tampa, and the town which was all but dead suddenly boomed with new life.  Tampa was one of the largest cities in Florida by 1900, both through exports of seafood and phosphate and Ybor cigars by rail, and import of the first tourists.

Native and Tampa lover Shane Lowney has immediate physical access to the history of Tampa, which was formed by industrialists like Ybor and his cigars and factories in Ybor City and West Tampa.  Lowney has enjoyed the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, which began in 1904 when a group of local businessmen devised a masquerade as Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (mythical pirate Jose Gaspar) and created an annual invasion and parade through Tampa.   Lowney should also be familiar with the landmark Sulphur Springs Water Tower from the 1920’s and the Tampa Theatre, a movie palace built on Davis Islands.  Tampa is home to the longest sidewalk in the world, 6 miles on Bayshore Boulevard, and National Historic Landmarks like El Centro Espanol de Tampa and Centro Asturiano de Tampa.

Shane Lowney can visit still today the Babe Zaharias Golf Course as a Historical Landmark, and the Story of Tampa, a public painting commissioned in 2003 which displays the city’s history in the Tampa Municipal Office Building.  Lowney has crossed the impressive steel Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay numerous times, and practiced his youthful skateboarding skills at one of the last remaining skateparks in the city, the Bro Bowl.

Shane Lowney was born in Tampa, Florida in the United States in 1980 and has made his life in the welcoming climate and atmosphere of this most diverse of cities.  Tampa offers a rowdy nightlife in Channelside, Ybor City, SoHo, International Plaza and Bay Street and Seminole Hard Rock, as well as downtown Tampa, which is rated sixth on Maxim magazine’s list of top party cities. Lowney has enjoyed the popularity of Tampa as a headquarters for professional wrestling.  Florida Championship Wrestling is based in Tampa, and many professional wrestlers live in the Tampa area.

Shane Lowney is also drawn to Tampa as an international recording destination for metal bands.  As home to death metal, Tampa is home to bands like Six Feet Under and Morbid Angel, which grew from the establishment of Morrisound Recording.

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Warm Temperatures a Boon to Shane Lowney

Shane Lowney is a true Son of the South, born in Tampa, Florida in the United States in 1980, and continuing to live and work in Tampa yet today.  Lowney was born with a love of machines and how they work, and this natural inclination toward mechanics led to Lowney leaving Tampa only once-to attend the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.

True to his roots, Shane Lowney returned to his beloved Tampa, which averages highs of 70 to 90 degrees year round.  Tampa has never reached 100 degrees due to the protection of the Gulf of Mexico, where Tampa rests on the western central coast of Florida.  Actually, pivotal to Tampa’s climate is treasured Tampa Bay.  Tampa Bay splits the climate of Tampa into two zones.  Zone 10a on the south side of Kennedy Boulevard in the city is the northern limit for healthy growth of coconut and royal palms.  As a result, southern Tampa is a lot more tropical than the northern parts of the city.  Tampa is bordered by the Old Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough Bay, which eventually flow together to make Tampa Bay flowing out to the Gulf of Mexico.  The Hillsborough River which flows directly across downtown Tampa and feeds Hillsborough Bay, is Tampa’s main source of fresh water.

From mid-May through mid-October it is warm to hot in Shane Lowney’s hometown of Tampa, Florida in the United States.  As Tampa Bay is known as the Lightning Capital of North America due to the daily afternoon thunderstorm blown in by the Gulf and Atlantic sea breezes, the water sports Lowney enjoyed with his friends; parasailing, sailing, swimming, fishing, deep sea diving, shelling, boating and many others began early in the day.  The lightning is accompanied by the inevitable rain, with an average of 26.1 inches from June to September.   Passing tropical systems can dump significantly more on the residents of Tampa.  No direct hurricane hits have been recorded in Tampa since 1921.

Mechanical Engineer and native Shane Lowney has been brought up on the fresh citrus of Hillsborough County, the main agricultural product of the rich loam and subtropical heat of central Florida in the United States.  Florida grove owners produced over 2M boxes of citrus in the 2013 growing season; that’s a lot of limes, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos, kumquats and the world’s favorite, oranges.  Lowney has learned to watch the winter temperatures along with the farmers and juice-makers and grove workers of his native city.  The temperature can fall below freezing 2 to 3 times a year, although Tampa’s tropical climate makes these occurrences rare.  When they do happen, however, the livelihood of local agriculture is in real danger, and the price of citrus and citrus products rises in response to the destruction of citrus crops.

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Shane Lowney: Tips For New Freelancers

In addition to having worked for Under The Bridge since Shane graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2001, Shane Lowney has begun working freelance in his spare time, placing particular focus on helping startups with new product design. He has encountered a number of challenges since he began working for himself and has developed the following pointers for those who are considering going freelance in their chosen field.

Develop a Portfolio

Unless you have built a reputation for the work you do at another company, you are going to start out with minimal exposure and practically no name recognition when you start working freelance. This makes your portfolio vital when it comes to attracting work, as potential clients will want to see examples of what you can do if they are going to take the risk of working with a freelancer instead of an established company.

Market Yourself

You are going to have to focus more of your time on the business aspect of what you do than ever before if you choose to go freelance, which means you need to market yourself wherever possible. Take full advantage of free marketing channels, such as social media or directory listings, to advertise yourself with minimal cost. Furthermore, try to attend events that will allow you to mingle with movers and shakers in the local business community, as you may find the relationships you develop present new opportunities to you.

Be Determined

You may find that the first few months of working freelance are frustrating as you struggle to attract any business. However, Shane Lowney encourages people to stick with it as it only takes a couple of good jobs to start establishing a reputation. Focus on marketing yourself and delivering a quality product every time, taking any setback as an opportunity to learn more about business.

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Shane Lowney: Tips For Student Engineers

In order to start a career in engineering, students are going to have to dedicate themselves fully to their education so that they can stand out from the pack and enjoy a better start to their careers when they graduate. Shane Lowney has always understood the importance of his education, both before and during his career, and he has the following tips to offer engineering students who want to get the most out of their time in college.

Develop A Portfolio Quickly

Your portfolio is going to play a large part in determining the quality of engineering firm that you start your career at, so you need to get to work on it as quickly as possible. Include any relevant work from your time as a student and try to supplement it with individual projects that demonstrate your creativity. Participate in any hands-on activities that you can outside of school hours, as this will offer you a distinct advantage over other graduates.

Work In Teams

While it may be tempting to think that everything you do in the engineering world can be handled on your own, the reality is that engineers need to work alongside many different people during the course of their careers. As such, it is a good idea to start developing your teamwork skills as early as possible, as this will give you a better understanding of what your working life will actually be like while also making you a more attractive candidate for jobs.

Take Business Classes

While your engineering studies should be your main focus, Shane Lowney notes that it never hurts to supplement your main skillset whenever possible. Business classes are useful for engineering students as they teach them about interacting with clients and may provide a foundation of knowledge in the event that you decide to go freelance.

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Shane Lowney: Reasons To Become An Engineer

Shane Lowney considers the engineering profession to be amongst the most rewarding, but he also notes that many people choose to study other subjects instead. There are many reasons why you might consider becoming an engineer, some of which relate to career satisfaction while others will directly affect your bottom line and the life that you can live as a result of your career choices.

Exercising Creativity

Creative people are always looking for ways to express themselves and this is something that the engineering professions were made for. Those who enter the sector will find themselves constantly having to come up with new ideas to help them to solve problems, while also working alongside clients and colleagues to create structures that can have a direct effect on the way people live their lives. Engineering provides an ideal outlet for those who want to be as creative as possible.

Career Prospects

If you embark on a career as an engineer, you are going to find yourself well-placed in terms of the salary that you can earn and the amount of control that you have over the direction of your career. Many engineers eventually start working for themselves after a certain amount of time working with a firm. Couple that with the salary that you can attract, which currently averages to around $100,000 per year, and you have a sector that offers plenty of career prospects.

Constant Challenges

One of the things that Shane Lowney enjoys most about engineering is the fact that the work offers constant challenges for him to overcome. You will never need to worry about working on menial tasks if you choose to become an engineer, as each job you work on will present its own unique challenges that you will have to overcome in order to make the project a success.

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Shane Lowney: Qualities An Engineer Must Possess

Having been an engineer for more than 14 years, Shane Lowney has had the opportunity to work alongside a number of fellow professionals. During his career he has noticed that all of the best engineers share a number of similar qualities that makes them perfectly suited for the role, including all of the following.

A Great Eye For Detail

Understanding the importance of little details is vital in the engineering sector, as one little mistake on your project blueprints could spell catastrophe when it comes time to actually build whatever you create. You need to be able to understand the various effects that your decisions will have on your project in addition to having the ability to check over your work and figures so that you can spot any mistakes that might bring about delays in the project.

Strong Communication Skills

Engineers will be called upon to work alongside a host of people during their careers, including clients, architects and building contractors. As such, they must be very strong communicators who are also flexible enough to adjust the language that they use depending on who they are speaking to. Good engineers are able to talk with confidence and authority, ensuring that everybody involved with a project understands their roles and the status of the project.

A Thirst For Knowledge

The world of engineering is changing constantly and Shane Lowney points out that any engineer who coasts by on their pre-existing knowledge is destined to fall behind the pack. As such, the best in the field always keep their ear to the ground so that they can hear about new techniques or developments in the industry that affect the way they work or the services they provide to clients. Failure to stay on top of such developments may lead to client dissatisfaction and the failure of any business ventures.

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