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Hannah Toerner '18 received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Hannah Toerner '18, a recent graduate from the Department of Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University, received the 2020 Ocean News and Technology Young Professional Award from the Marine Technology Society (MTS).

This accolade honors members of the society under the age of 35 who work in a management, engineering, or research and development position within a marine technology field and have demonstrated outstanding leadership in and out of the organization.

Toerner served as vice president for the local branch of MTS as an undergraduate | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

"It was truly an honor (and very surprising) to be nominated for the award, let alone receive it," said Toerner. "It is nice to see people recognize my hard work, especially since I often do not recognize it myself. Receiving the award has made me realize that sometimes I don't give myself enough credit for the work I do."

Now an aspire rotation engineer at the American Bureau of Shipping, Toerner received her ocean engineering undergraduate and graduate degrees at Texas A&M in 2018 and 2020, respectively. During her time in the department, she served as the vice president for the local chapter of MTS and was involved in numerous organizations, including the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), the Human Powered Submarine Team, the Society of Women Engineers and the Society for Underwater Technology.

Toerner explained that her experiences in the department helped to shape her into the young professional that she is today. The MTS and SNAME student chapters allowed her to connect to peers and industry professionals through meetings and conferences as well as gave her insight into how to prepare for working in industry. Her time with the Human Powered Submarine Team taught her how to organize and lead a team, troubleshoot solutions to project problems and how to think on her feet and adapt when things do not go as planned.

Toerner was also involved with the Human Powered Submarine Team while at Texas A&M | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

Looking back on her time at Texas A&M, Toerner advises current students to submit their resume to the resume book via HireAggies and to take advantage of the opportunity to build relationships within the department.

"I feel blessed to have had professors and advisors that knew me on a personal level and could pass along job opportunities they knew I'd be interested in," said Toerner. "If I could give advice to current students, it would be to build a network by getting involved. Take the opportunity to go to conferences, submarine races, and MTS meetings and camps to form relationships with the people you meet. The ocean engineering community is very tight knit; who you know is just as important as what you know. And, reach out to former students. Old ocean engineering students love hearing from and helping current students. This department is the epitome of 'Aggies helping Aggies.'"