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Get inspired by experiences and opportunities shared by fellow engineering students.

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Dr. Lesley Wright, recipient of the Jana and Quentin A. Baker Faculty Fellowship, and Quentin A. Baker | Image: Justin Baetge/ Texas A&M Engineering Communications

Quentin A. Baker arrived on the Texas A&M University campus in 1974 with one goal in mind; to become a mechanical engineer.

His experiences as an Aggie have shaped his life and played a significant role in his success. The lessons that Texas A&M instilled in Baker is why he strives to provide the same opportunities and experiences for current students in the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering.   

“When you go through undergrad, your blood turns maroon,” said Baker.

“I had the chance to speak at a seminar and reconnect with the university, and I realized how much I missed it. I then had the inspiration and desire to give back to the institution that helped me make my way through life.”

Quentin A. Baker | Image: Justin Baetge/ Texas A&M Engineering Communications

Baker, who serves as president of Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants, Inc., is heavily involved with students on campus. He frequently speaks at seminars and recently funded two capstone projects.

“Companies who aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities to have those interactions with students are missing a great time,” Baker said. “It's wonderful to sit with the students and exchange thoughts and ideas. It’s a chance to learn how they're doing, and for us to feed off their energy.”

As a member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Industry Advisory Council (IAC), Baker has an avenue to ensure that students are prepared for their careers.

“I get to have interactions with faculty, learn what's being done in terms of curriculum and give feedback on what industries need from the students,” said Baker. “It’s been a very rewarding experience, and I will continue to be involved because of that.”

Jana and Quentin A. Baker Faculty Fellowship plaque | Image: Justin Baetge/ Texas A&M Engineering Communications

In addition, Baker and his wife, Jana, created the Jana and Quentin A. Baker Faculty Fellowship. Currently, the recipient of this fellowship is Dr. Lesley Wright, an associate professor.

“My wife and I created the endowment so that there would be funding to help with the attraction and retention of high-quality faculty,” said Baker. “Dr. Wright is the first recipient. I recently met with her to learn what she is doing and had the chance to see her laboratories. It is great to make that connection and see how our endowment is actually being put to use.”

In 2018, Baker was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award by the College of Engineering for his various contributions to the university and specifically the mechanical engineering department. He hopes that his work inspires other alumni to contribute to Texas A&M.

“The Industry Advisory Council is trying to get alumni and companies more connected to support the department. We want to show our alumni the cutting-edge work that A&M is doing,” Baker said. ““The Industry Advisory Council created a fund at the Foundation that is managed by the Council. The Council’s Mechanical Engineering Advancement Fund is a great way for alumni to support the ME Department since 100% of the funds go to Department advancement, faculty support and student scholarships with oversight from the Council.”

If you would like to donate, please visit the department’s Giving page.