Engineering legacy comes full circle

Student Spotlight
Trevor Crandell, fifth-year mechanical engineering
Spencer Crandell, fifth-year mechanical engineering

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Spencer, left, and Trevor Crandell

Twin brothers Trevor and Spencer Crandell of Oneonta, N.Y., are following in their father’s footsteps. Michael Crandell graduated from RIT in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and 27 years later his sons are doing the same. Both Trevor and Spencer, who are graduating with degrees in mechanical engineering with an aerospace option, have jobs lined up in the aerospace industry just like their father, who works as an engineering manager for an aerospace company. Trevor will be working for Parker Aerospace, and Spencer will be working for LORD Corp.

Question: What brought you to RIT?

Trevor’s Answer: The main points that piqued my interest about RIT were its reputable mechanical engineering program and the co-op program. Beyond those points, I felt that the campus fit me well. Even the straight-edged brick building designs seemed all right to me.

Spencer’s Answer: I think the engineering co-op program was a big influence on my decision to come to RIT. Besides that, I thoroughly enjoy the architecture here at RIT.

Q: Was the fact that your father is an alumnus of RIT a major influence on your academic career choices?

Trevor and Spencer: I feel that our father’s profession as an aerospace engineer influenced our interests and career path more than his RIT alumni status.

Trevor: The fact that he was an alumnus of RIT made sure that RIT was on my radar when I started applying to colleges and gave me an insider scoop on the program.

Spencer: Since we were young, we were always exposed to different aspects of his work and I think that definitely played a role in my decision to go into engineering.

Q: What is it like going to the same university as your twin? Is there competition or collaboration between you two?

Trevor: As far as going to college with my twin goes, I see it as a positive situation. There are times when it’s competitive but overall it’s cooperative and advantageous. Also, I have to say, being able to confuse so many people on campus every day is an entertaining thing. I have countless stories involving twin antics that I would have missed out on had we chosen different schools.

Spencer: Going to the same university as my twin has definitely been an interesting experience. As far as competition and collaboration, I think there’s a fair amount of both. At times there’s a sort of unspoken competitive side, but since we’re often in the same class we can still help each other out.

Q: What activities are you involved in outside of school?

Trevor: Outside of school I like to participate in a number of things. For a few years now, I’ve been playing in the intramural soccer league at the field house. Also, I’m a part of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which has produced some good experiences and fun events. Another club that I spend some time with is the RIT Rolling Tigers, which is the motorcycle club at RIT. Beyond that, I enjoy participating in events on campus that are hosted by various groups. There’s always something to do around RIT.

Spencer: Outside of school I participate in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers club here at RIT. I enjoy playing soccer or lacrosse with friends during the spring and fall quarters and skiing during the winter. I have also taken part in many of the activities provided by RIT during SpringFest and Freezefest during my years here.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation? How does it feel to have jobs lined up before you graduate?

Trevor: After graduation, I plan on applying for part-time grad school at RIT. My employer has an educational reimbursement that I plan on making use of. Since my future place of employment is only 50 minutes from RIT, I plan on spending my first few years out of college in the Rochester area. That way, I can continue my exploration of this entertaining city. Having a job lined up for after graduation is a great feeling. I have to say that it definitely intensifies the college senioritis a bit. However, being without the stress of a job hunt has really helped me enjoy my last quarter at RIT. Having a job lined up after college is something that I really value and accredit to RIT’s great program and staff.

Spencer: After graduation, I’ll be moving to Erie, Pa., where I’ll start full-time employment. Once I start there, I’ll start looking into graduate programs. The company I will be working for offers reimbursement for employees interested in furthering their education. Most likely, I will be applying to Case Western University due to its proximity to Erie and plethora of online courses. As for having a job lined up after college, I feel it has been a huge relief. It has been very nice to be able to focus on school and having fun during my last quarter here at RIT.

Q: What advice would you give to other students at RIT?

Trevor: I’m not that good at coming up with thoughtful advice, but I guess I would say take advantage of your co-ops. Finding a place that you enjoy working at before you graduate is a great thing. Co-ops give you a unique opportunity to get a feel for that sort of quality in a job. Besides that, make sure to take advantage of your college years and have some fun.

Spencer: Some advice I would give to an incoming student would be to take full advantage of the co-op program offered here at RIT. It’s a great opportunity to see what kind of work is out there and find out where you want to land. Also, it’s very important to aim high when looking for co-ops.

Matt Gregory compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at with suggestions.