Engineering legacy lives on
Nine family members, six engineers across three generations, three MSOE grads, one happy family. The Kubicek family lives by the motto, “It’s all about efficiency,” which shines true for each member of this engineering-centric family.
Bernice Kubicek, a 2019 MSOE graduate double majoring in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, grew up with a passion for physics and math and desire to follow the engineering footsteps of her dad and grandpa.
Her grandpa, Edward Kubicek, kicked off the engineer lineage in 1946 where he received training through the U.S. Army. After serving in the Army, he went on to work as a systems engineer on various projects including the first moon rover, Titan missile control systems and many others.
Todd Kubicek, Bernice’s dad, continued the engineering legacy at MSOE. An ’84 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology and an associate degree in applied science in mechanical design engineering technology, he designed specialized equipment for the railroad industry, food industry and foundries. MSOE is where he met Bernice’s mom, Virginia, who also graduated from MSOE in ’84 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Bernice wasn’t the only one influenced by her dad’s and grandpa’s careers, three of her six siblings also pursued engineering paths. Her older sister Veronica graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Her older brother Ben was trained in the Navy as a nuclear engineer and is currently deployed on a submarine. Rose, Bernice’s younger sister, is currently studying mechanical engineering at Iowa State University.
Bernice has three more younger sisters who are continuing their education as well. Andrea is studying education at Marian University, Julia recently applied to the radiology program at the University of Iowa, and her youngest sister, Viki, is in high school and looking at colleges offering mechanical engineering degrees—Bernice has her fingers crossed for Viki to choose MSOE.
Growing up in a large family of technical thinkers is where the family motto around efficiency evolved. Both parents supported their kids to explore whatever field they were interested in.
“As the parents of seven children, we encouraged success in math and science classes, setting up their foundation for their choices in engineering, healthcare or education. It was their interests and talents that led to four, possibly five with Viki, into engineering, one into education and one pursuing radiology,” said Virginia.
Bernice graduated in May 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, and received her Order of the Engineer ring during a ceremony held the evening prior to Commencement. The event is extra special for Bernice as her grandpa and dad joined her on stage to receive their rings as well.
“I consider my father and grandpa two of the smartest men I know. My dad is my role model. I am excited and honored to receive my ring with both of them. My family is thrilled, too, and the majority of them were there to cheer us on!”
Induction to the Order of the Engineer is longstanding ritual for engineering graduates where they pledge to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth. The Order of the Engineer fosters a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, bridges the gap between training and experience, and presents to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer. The first ceremony was held in 1970 at Cleveland State University. Since then, similar ceremonies have been held across the United States at which graduate and registered engineers are invited to accept the Obligation of the Engineer and wear a stainless steel ring on the fifth finger of their working hand.
After graduation Bernice will be attending the University of Iowa to pursue a doctorate in electrical engineering with a focus on signal processing. She will begin her research assistantship this summer where she will be developing computational techniques using signal processing, informatics and machine learning approaches to enhance the understanding of information collected about the environment via raw signals from instruments.