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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Jose Cabrera giving his final graduate student presentation.

Industrial Technology Student Spotlight: Jose A. Cabrera

(Jan. 14, 2024) -- The recent holiday season brought an extra sense of happiness and reflection to Jose A. Cabrera who recently completed his master’s degree.

Last month, our Industrial Technology Department faculty applauded his final project tied to automation and new technology, as well as his leadership as president of the Fresno State MotorSport Club.

He was able to pay for college debt-free and gain key experience during an internship with Blue Dolphin Design and Engineering, while working with its CNC mill, laser cutter and 3D printer.

Also a Fresno State mechanical engineering undergraduate degree recipient, read more about the Lindsay, CA native’s dream of becoming an engineering project manager in this recent interview. 


Q: Describe your graduate degree research and/or project, why you chose it, and how it will benefit the industry?

“My graduate degree product development focused on reviving a product using new technology and making it automated. I chose this topic because I feel that as the population grows, we will need to produce more at a faster rate to keep up with demand for many products. I feel making automated machinery will be the future for manufacturing.”

Q: Describe the various steps the project required. 

“The biggest role in the analysis was to learn about the processes first. Much of the knowledge I needed was learned during my classes in industrial technology as well as mechanical engineering. The classes in those two fields laid the foundation. Also, working at Blue Dolphin Design and Engineering helped tremendously as they showed me how the evaluation process of machine design works. It was with their help that gave me access to Solidworks, which helped when I designed certain parts of the machine.”

Q: Why did you choose to attend Fresno State, and have any other family members graduated or attended Fresno State?

“I wanted to be somewhere close to home. I also wanted to go somewhere affordable but still get a good education. I feel Fresno State had everything I wanted, and it has been a great place to me. The faculty is great, and they genuinely help students succeed. I am actually the first in my family to attend Fresno State and the first in my family to graduate with a Master’s Degree.”

Q: Which classes and faculty members have had the biggest influence on you while at Fresno State?

“I would say there are three professors who have had the most impact on me. First would be Dr. Nguyen from engineering, then Dr. (Arun) Nambiar from Industrial Technology, and lastly Dr. Balaji Sethuramasamyraja. All of these professors have inspired me to be a better student and have pushed me to become a better version of myself. They believed in my potential and have guided me through any challenges here at Fresno State.”

Q: Have you had any part-time or full-time jobs while a student and talk about of your responsibilities?

“I work at Blue Dolphin Design and Engineering as an engineering intern, and I have worked there for about a year. I currently design parts, run the CNC Mill, laser cutter, 3D printer and help with machine design.”

Q: What was your background in agriculture before you started at Fresno State?

“My background was not in agriculture but most of my friends did. I have worked picking olives and oranges when I was younger. I have the utmost respect for the farmworkers because that job is difficult to say the least. Without farm workers it would be very difficult for us to have food on our plate every day.”

Q: What clubs and organizations at Fresno State have you been a part of?

“I have been a part of the Fresno State Motorsport Club and I served as the president. I have been involved in working on a Mazda Miata project.”

Q: What’s your potential next career step? 

"My next career step would be to work in the engineering field and become a project manager. I feel both of the degrees obtained here at Fresno State have given me a considerable amount of knowledge needed for such a position."

Q: Have you overcome any challenges to get to where you are today that have shaped who you are today?

“I have had to overcome adversity all throughout my college career. I have had to put myself through school on my own. I have paid for every semester I have attended. I am glad to say that I have worked hard, countless hours, with many sleepless nights to make enough money to pay for everything and I am graduating with a Master’s debt free. This has taught me that hard work and dedication will pay off.”  

Q: Is there anything else you would like to include about your educational journey?

“For those who feel that no matter how hard they try, they can never get anywhere. I say to you, never give up, and continue to strive for greatness. Sometimes it takes longer than you would like but you will get there if you work hard.”

Jose Cabrera giving his final graduate student presentation.