An engineer’s tour of Oklahoma

There’s plenty for engineers to do in Oklahoma. With companies like Phillips 66, Devon Energy, Continental Resources, Seventy-Seven Energy, Chesapeake Energy and more based in the state, it ranks third in the nation in natural gas production, fifth in crude oil production and is a top-ten producer of wind energy. Getting that energy into homes inspired the creation of Ditch Witch, which got its start in Perry in the 1940s when a mechanical engineer Ed Malzhan revolutionized trenching for gas, electric and plumbing lines from a slow pick-and-shovel process to one that could be done faster with his machine.


From the earth to the air, Oklahoma’s got it covered with the world’s largest airline maintenance base in Tulsa, where American Airlines houses its global maintenance and engineering headquarters. Frontier Electronic Services designs and manufactures electronics and systems for space flight, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army missile defense systems and commercial customers. And drone enthusiasts, take note: Successful Student website ranked Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology’s unmanned aerial systems program second in the nation. The University of Oklahoma’s Gallogly College of Engineering boasts the state’s largest engineering program with 3200 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students.


Biotechnology is big here, too. The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is one of the nation’s oldest independent nonprofit biomedical research institutes with more than 700 U.S. and international patents. The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology is helping grow businesses of all kinds, awarding more than 2,400 monetary awards to researchers, entrepreneurs and companies to fund research, get them through proof-of-concept, and support networking with investors and other researchers. When it comes to fueling all this innovation, stop by Oklahoma-based SONIC Drive-In where they can engineer you a burger and shake in a hurry.